A new meat processing plant in Mid Wales producing high quality burgers using Welsh meat was officially opened, on Friday, by Carwyn Jones AM, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretary for the National Assembly for Wales.

The Burger Manufacturing Company, based at the Welsh Development Agency's Wyeside Enterprise Park, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells is producing Welsh beef and lamb burgers together with a vegetarian and Eastern range.

Mr Carwyn Jones said: "Projects such as this provide additional processing facilities in Wales, adding value to locally produced lamb and beef. This is exactly the sort of project which we have been seeking to encourage through the development of the Wales Agri-Food Strategy.

"I would encourage Welsh farmers to seize the opportunity to take advantage of the potential this project will afford them."

The company has received a processing and marketing grant from the National Assembly for Wales and has been supported by the WDA's Mid Wales Division alongside Powys County Council and Mid Wales TEC.

Siân Lloyd Jones, Managing Director of the WDA's Mid Wales Division, said: "The company has worked closely with the meat and farming sectors in Wales, fostering strong relationships within the industry since establishing itself here in Mid Wales just six months ago. It now has a wide range of products using Welsh meat."

"The Burger Manufacturing Company has also created good quality long term jobs in the area and we look forward to continuing to assist the company with its investment plans."

Albert Robinson, General Manager of the Burger Manufacturing Company, said: "We are currently employing 32 people and plan to increase this to 65 within 12 months. We are impressed with the quality of the workforce and the support we have received from the various agencies, community and agri-sector."

The occasion was marked with the launch of a pilot Welsh lamb grill steaklette using the shoulder of lamb to upgrade the value of the whole carcass.

The same processing method can be used for Welsh beef forequarter cuts. These products have already been well received by the food wholesale, food service and catering sectors, together with a cooked meat products manufacturer giving direct availability to major supermarkets for use in their microwave snack range.

Guests were given a tour of the state of the art meat processing and cold storage facilities and shown the rigorous hygiene, health and safety regulations which the company has to adhere to.