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Welsh Great Taste Food & Drink Winners

07 Nov

Welsh Great Taste food and drink winners on show to celebrate their success and Caws Teifi Cheese are top of the bill.

Follows is a press release I thought you’d be interested in. Although I didn’t get an invite to this event. my grapevine was working when a guest emailed me to say he’d see me there, sadly not but I hope it was a good celebration for Welsh Food & Drink.

The Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths is in attendance today (Tuesday 6 November) when 153 products from Wales recognised earlier this year in the prestigious Great Taste awards, are showcased at a celebratory event at the St David’s Hotel, Cardiff.

Presented by the broadcaster and Chairman of the Great Taste Awards, Nigel Barden, the event follows the format of a Showcase and Market style Meet the Producer, and provides a platform to display the finest Welsh food and drink products available. A range of trade buyers from the retail and hospitality sector and Welsh Assembly Members are in attendance.

This year’s Great Taste Welsh winners saw producers from independent artisan producers to larger distributors being recognised with 110 Welsh products achieving 1-star, 31 getting 2-stars and 12 being deemed worthy of the 3-stars accolade. The Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink, and is described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world.

Over 40 award winning producers are attending the celebratory event including Caws Teifi Cheese, who recently topped the bill by receiving the top accolade of Golden Fork from Wales.

Caws Teifi Cheese is the longest established artisan cheese maker in Wales, having produced award winning raw milk cheeses for over 30 years.

Founded in 1982, by co-founder John Savage-Onstwedder, who came to Wales from Holland to follow his dream of organic farming and reviving the lost tradition of using raw milk and local ingredients to make high quality artisanal cheese, commented:

“To be awarded 3 stars in the Great Taste Awards is a testament to the skill and dedication of the whole team here at Caws Teifi Cheese. It also reflects the quality of the milk produced here in Ceredigion and we must give credit to Mr & Mrs Williams of Cilcert Farm, Ffos-y-Ffin, Aberaeron who produce the milk that makes our cheese. That the most highly awarded cheese in Britain is produced here in Ceredigion proves that both Welsh milk and cheeses are something we can all be proud of.”

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “It is fantastic to see Welsh food and drink businesses showcasing their high quality produce here today.

“Every one of the winners from the 2018 Welsh Great Taste Awards should be commended for their sterling efforts. I’d also like to say congratulations to the 15 Welsh products which have achieved European Protected Food Name status. This accolade should confirm their status as trusted brands and inspire confidence in consumers in their quality and provenance.

“In these challenging times ahead of Brexit, it is more important than ever that we champion Welsh produce and support food and drink businesses in every way we can. We are committed to supportive programmes, such as our Food and Drink Action Plan, which will help provide a boost to the industry in these uncertain times.”

Although I’ve published John’s success in Welsh Country magazine I couldn’t see any harm in posting it here on welshfoodbites as well. Caws Teifi have been longstanding advertisers with Welsh Country and I have a huge respect for John and his family and the team they have built up there and of course I love catching up with him at markets & food festivals and buying some of his various cheeses. I love Welsh cheeses so catching up with John is always a treat and if he’s time we put the food and drink world to rights!!!!

 
 

Food Festival Funding Approved By Wag

04 Sep

Food Festival funding, for 2018 has at last been posted on wag’s website.

Yesterday I was informed that this listing was now on wag’s website – well for me, better late than never from an enquiry I put through in May and couldn’t get amounts for first tranche let alone and details of second tranche. I was told they were waiting to be signed off but that didn’t make sense when an organiser rang to say they’d been successful in second tranche!

I’m not understanding this and feeling that I shouldn’t be asking for this information at all – let alone sending through more than 15 emails and still failing. There’s been no press release issued on food festivals, not sure why, but then why would I know?

Although I think it would make more sense if the full list was in date order, let’s just be grateful, even though it’s now September, it’s here. I did post the first tranche on welshfoodbites.

I note that Brecon, Neath, Newport are all running over 6th October as well as Denbigh although  Denbigh will not attract the same producers as the other three. I know I’ve posted on this before, even mentioned it to wag, who told me organising dates that didn’t clash was not down to them. I disagree when they are funding them as some smaller producers haven’t got 2 -3 units so have to decide which to take a gamble on and I don’t find that helpful. But then, what is on the following weekend folks? Not much. Surely someone taking responsibility for calendar dates can only be helpful for both producers and organisers. However the longer I cover food festivals even I am accepting that I’m a lone voice and perhaps expecting too much.

So many of you have asked over the last months which festivals wag are funding this year and I’m sorry it has taken so long. I must accept that although I’ve tried very hard it’s maybe best I give up and admit defeat.

 

So here is the list in full:

Cardigan River and Food Festival Cardigan, Ceredigion 18th August £5,000.00
Gŵyl Bwyd Môr Bae Ceredigion Aberaeron, Ceredigion 8th July £3,550.00
Gŵyl Fwyd Caernarfon Caernarfon, Gwynedd 12th May £5,000.00
Brecon Beacons Food Festival Brecon, Powys 6th October £5,000.00
Llandudno Christmas Fayre Llandudno, Conwy 15th – 18th November £5,000.00
Gŵyl Fwyd Portmeirion Portmeirion, Gwynedd 30th November – 1st & 2nd December £5,000.00
The Denbigh and Flint County Show Denbigh 16th August £2,000.00
Gŵyl Fwyd Beaumaris Beaumaris, Anglesey 1st – 2nd September £4,990.00
Gwledd Conwy Feast Conwy 26th – 28th October £5,000.00
Gŵyl Fwyd Castell Newydd Emlyn Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthen 9th June £3,172.10
Newtown Food Festival Newtown, Powys 1st – 2nd September £4,943.75
Neath Food Festival Neath, Neath Port Talbot 5th – 7th October £4,999.50
Menai Food Festival Menai Bridge, Anglesey 28th July £5,000.00
Cowbridge Food Festival Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan 27th – 28th May £5,000.00
St Fagans Food Festival St Fagan’s, Cardiff 8th – 9th September £4,984.00
 Light Up Local Food and Drink Vale of Clwyd November/December £5,000.00
Newport Food Festival Newport 6th October £5,000.00
Denbigh Plum Feast Vale of Clwyd 6th October £3,990.00
Llanelli Food and Drink Festival Llanelli 19th – 21st October £5,000.00
Narberth Food Festival Narberth, Pembrokeshire 21st – 23rd September £4,200.00
2018 National Armed Forces Day Llandudno 30th June £4,996.25
Hay Winter Food Festival Hay on Wye 23rd – 24th November £4,425.00
Llangollen Food Festival Llangollen 13th – 14th October £4,749.00
Gŵyl Bwyd a Diod Dewi Sant Pembrey Country Park 1st March , 2019 £3,800.00
Big Welsh Bite Pontypridd 4th – 5th  August £4,455.00
Abergavenny Food Festival Abergavenny 15th – 16th September £5,000.00

 

 
 

Food Self-Sufficiency

09 Aug

Food Self-Sufficiency Should Be At Heart Of Government Policy. Welsh Conservatives have echoed the calls of NFU Cymru for food self-sufficiency to be at the heart of Welsh Government policy.

NFU Cymru President, John Davies, has urged the Labour Government to put food at the heart of policy decisions with latest figures showing a steady decline in our food self-sufficiency.

Defra figures for 2017 show that Britain produced 60 per cent of its own food – 30 years ago the figure stood at 71 per cent.

Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary, Andrew RT Davies AM commented:

“Food security is too important an issue to be side-lined and the steady decline in the production of our own food is a grave concern. The failure to secure our long-term food security will cost future generations dearly and that’s why food self-sufficiency should be prioritised and put at the heart of Welsh Labour Government policy making. With climate change and more extreme weather conditions to become more frequent across Wales, it’s imperative that we plan and invest in the production of our food if we want to avoid a deserted countryside and empty shopping shelves. Our farmers produce world-class food but the challenges down the line are there for all to see – warm words are no longer enough and the Welsh Government must make this a priority.”

NFU Cymru commented:

August 7 would mark the notional day in the calendar where the British larder would run bare if we fed the nation only British food from January 1.

Defra figures for 2017 show that Britain produced 60% of its own food. This rate is in long-term decline and NFU Cymru President, John Davies, is urging Welsh Government to put food at the heart of policy decisions.

John Davies said: “The decline in our food self-sufficiency is of real concern. A nation must have the ability to feed itself and these figures show that Britain is falling short. With Brexit only eight months away and the recent launch of the Welsh Government ‘Brexit and Our Land’ consultation, we are now in a time of great uncertainty but also a time of real opportunity. NFU Cymru is ambitious for the future of our food and drinks industry and Welsh Government now has the chance to put food production and food security front and centre of the political agenda and Welsh and British farmers are up for the challenge of feeding an ever growing population. Welsh and British food is produced to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards in the world, but in order to maintain these standards governments must put in place favourable policies to allow the sector to meet the challenges of a post-Brexit world and to ensure it remains competitive amongst its European counterparts. A recent You Gov survey commissioned by NFU Cymru showed that over 80% of consumers in Wales supported the idea of a new domestic agricultural policy providing support for farmers to continue supplying safe, high quality, fully traceable food to the nation. In an ever more volatile world, where extreme weather alongside other global challenges will become more frequent, it is vital that future policy in Wales helps ensure that Welsh farmers can continue to deliver a plentiful supply of safe, quality and fully traceable food that the consumer expects from us.”

I don’t usually post press releases from political parties but with the problems our farmers are having – and some are advertisers with Welsh Country magazine – I have no option but to highlight the Welsh Conservatives’ viewpoint and a plea from John Davies the NFU Cymru President.

To me, who has never had to try and make a living from the land, I can still understand how this drought has brought endless stress and worry to our farmers. Having no choice but to be feeding stock from their winter stores in July & August is scary.

Surely it is a no-brainer that it is better for everyone to grow and produce our own food that way we are supporting our farmers, growers and producers and then reduce our food imports. This is vital to the growth of Welsh food and drink.

 
 

Work Gets Underway On A Successor Food And Drink Action Plan

19 Jul

Work Gets Underway On A Successor Food And Drink Action Plan. I got this press release through from the Welsh Government yesterday and have posted, although this is not a Government website because wag are asking for your input……………….

The press release is shown in full as follows:

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has today confirmed that work is already underway with the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board to develop a successor Food and Drink Action plan.

Speaking  at the National Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee, the Cabinet Secretary confirmed that the new plan will build on the success of ‘Towards Sustainable Growth’, which ends in December 2019. 

The Cabinet Secretary urged everyone with an interest in the future of the sector to get involved and share their views on how the sector needs to develop and where it needs to be through to 2025. 

Since the introduction of the original action Plan in 2014, there has been considerable growth in the turnover value of the food and farming sector, with exports also growing strongly and passing the half billion mark for the first time in 2017.

The food and drinks industry is a globally renowned sector, with 165 Great Taste Winners in 2017 and 15 products now holding EU protected food name status.

Cabinet Secretary said:  “Food and Drink is a foundation sector for Wales and now more than ever, it is important that we ensure the industry is strong and robust to thrive in a post-Brexit world.  It is also important that businesses have the capacity, support and resources in place to make the most of their opportunities to grow.

“That is why we have already begun work on a successor Food and Drink Action plan, working collaboratively with the Board.  I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of the sector to share their views with us over the coming months as we develop our proposals further.”

Andy Richardson, Chair of the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board said:  “The board is committed to engaging with Welsh food and drink businesses, with a strong focus on growth, innovation and adding value.“We are looking to refresh our activities in order they remain relevant and flexible to respond to the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  Above all we want to drive the continued growth of the sector and reinforce Wales’ position as a leading provider of healthy, nutritious and exciting food and drink.”

Notes

To share your views on a future Food and Drink Action plan please email FoodandDrinkConsultation@gov.wales

This is your industry and wag will only know the problems and worries you face, if you tell them. If you can’t be bothered or are ‘too busy’ that’s fine by me. You’ve got a chance to feedback and help wag make plans for the future of our industry.

Of course I cannot promise what action – or not- wag will then take, but please for goodness sake, give them a chance. It is pointless any of our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers moaning to me about problems in Welsh Food & Drink because I can virtually promise that I can change very little and it’s not my job to feedback for you. After 13 years I am getting that message……..

 

 
 

Strategic Growth Grant Scheme

22 Jun

I’ve been pestering to get the list of those festivals and events that have been successful in being awarded funding by the Welsh Government. For me, plus some organisers, I’d have loved this list out earlier as some of these festivals have been and gone so I’m not helping with any promotion for them on welshfoodbites. But do remember that this is the first list and there will be a second application tranche, think the closing date for that is today.

Strategic Growth Grant Scheme

1st Round Successful Festivals and Events:

Cardigan River and Food Festival Cardigan, Ceredigion 18/08

Gŵyl Bwyd Môr Bae Ceredigion Aberaeron, Ceredigion 08/07

Gŵyl Fwyd Caernarfon Caernarfon, Gwynedd 12/05

Brecon Beacons Food Festival Brecon, Powys 06/10

Llandudno Christmas FayreLlandudno, Conwy 15 – 18/11

Gŵyl Fwyd Portmeirion Portmeirion, Gwynedd 30/11- 02/12

The Denbigh and Flint County Show, Denbigh 16/08

Gŵyl Fwyd Beaumaris Beaumaris, Anglesey 1 – 2/09

Gwledd Conwy Feast, Conwy 26 – 28/10

Menai Food Festival Menai Bridge, Anglesey 28/07

Gwyl Fwyd Castell Newydd Emlyn Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthen 9/6

Newtown Food Festival Newtown, Powys 1 – 2/09

Neath Food Festival Neath, Neath Port Talbot 5 – 7/10

Cowbridge Food Festival Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan 27 – 28/05

St Fagans Food Festival St Fagan’s, Cardiff 8 – 9/09

Light Up Local Food & Drink, Vale of Clwyd November/December

Newport Food Festival, Newport 6/10

Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum Feast, Clwyd  6/10

Llanelli Food and Drink Festival, Llanelli 19 – 21/10

Narberth Food Festival Narberth, Pembrokeshire 21 – 23/09

National Armed Forces Day Llandudno 30/06

Menter A Busnes are again running the food festival programme for the Welsh Food & Drink department for the second year. Maybe you’ll be surprised to hear me say this is a huge improvement but praise where it is due is how I work. We were invited to the Food Festival Organisers Conference this year, and that’s never happened before and the feedback we got is that Menter are being helpful and for me it should always have been this way. This change is for the good and Menter seem to have learned a lot from taking this role last year. Ian and I were at Newcastle Emlyn food festival on 9th, as they advertise with Welsh Country magazine and we also had a number of our Best Of Welsh & Border producers there too, never mind that it is just down the road for us too! But we were surprised and delighted to see a team member from Menter there, yes actually at the event!!!! Seriously I’ve lost count how many years or perhaps it’s even a decade, that I’ve been saying to wag food this is was what was needed and even offered to help, but our offer wasn’t declined, no it wasn’t, just ignored! Yes we’ve had numerous companies doing evaluations, but in my view they’ve been a waste of money, apart from ticking a box.

I always have a problem with one criteria that festivals have to complete is number of people through the gate. Not a hassle if the event is ticketed but it sure is if it’s a freebie. I’ve had a few organisers telling me that they drag their families and friends in to help on this footfall count, but for me that is an utter waste of time and energy when those helpers could be doing far more useful jobs. If the people don’t attend an event then the producers will boycott it the following year because they have not made money. Not sure my suggestion went down well with everyone when I suggested they were ‘creative’ in filling in this figure for wag – but to me, that makes sense and is practical.

You’ll not be surprised to learn that I’ve also been pestering to find out how much these festivals have been awarded, but as yet that detail has not come through. The maximum each festival can apply for is £5k, but of course being a journalist I want to know the detail. When I do get it, I’ll of course post on welshfoodbites and hope we don’t go back to the bad old days when I had to raise a Freedom Of Information question to get that info…………………

 
 

Welsh Government Brexit Offers Help

22 Jun

Welsh Government Brexit now that’s the question?

The Welsh Government has help for Brexit and on Monday 18th June sent out this press release, stating that there’s – Over £3m to help meat and fisheries sectors prepare for Brexit. Full press release follows:

A multi-million pound package of support to help the Welsh food industry prepare for Brexit will be announced today by First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones.

Through the Welsh Government’s £50million EU Transition Fund, £2.15 million will be provided to support the development of the red meat sector in Wales. The investment will support farmers to identify improvements to their businesses to help them become more competitive and in a better position to trade profitably following Brexit.

Funding will also be given to an import substitution project to help identify and secure supply chains within the UK and encourage companies based in the EU to set up operations in Wales.

Over the next two years, the fishing and aquaculture industries will receive financial support to help that sector find new markets and prepare for future trading outside the EU.

 Speaking ahead of his address to the Farmer’s Union of Wales AGM in Aberystwyth this morning, the First Minister said, “Brexit presents a series of challenges and opportunities for our agriculture and fisheries industries.  The funding I am announcing today from our EU Transition Fund will provide vitally needed support. As a Government we will do all we can to help these important industries prepare for a post-Brexit world.

The £3m package of support, funded through the Welsh Government’s EU transition fund, is broken down as follows:

  1. Red Meat Benchmarking project – £2,150,000
  2. Import Replacement – £100,000
  3. Transforming Government Fisheries Management Systems for EU Exit – £390,000
  4. Supporting Welsh fisheries and aquaculture sectors to prepare for EU Exit – £440,000

Obviously Welsh Country magazine is passionate about Welsh food and drink and our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers are not backwards in talking to us about Brexit and I’ve listened to their worries, which are many and that’s quite understandable. I’m told the Welsh Government has continued meeting the various sectors in Welsh Food & Drink and of course farming and fishing sectors. This gives those reliant on this industry the opportunity to listen to Government proposals and also to ask questions and raise their own  queries. Uncertainty always creates worry and I can only hope civil servants and politicians appreciate how stressful it can be when you do not have guarantee salary going into your bank account each month.

 
 

Monmouthshire Council Not Too Strapped For Cash

16 Mar

I thought you’d be interested in reading the following:

SUBJECT: Abergavenny Food Festival: Interest Free Loan

MEETING: Individual Cabinet Member Decision (Cllr Greenland)

DATE: 14TH March 2018

DIVISION/WARDS AFFECTED: ALL

SUBJECT:

PURPOSE:

1.0 To request a one-off, interest free loan of £25,000 to be made available to Abergavenny Food Festival to assist them in sustaining their financial viability given the cancellation of their Christmas 2017 Christmas Market and in doing so assure the County of the wider benefits that are derived from hosting an international food festival. Abergavenny Food Festival will work with the Authority to extend the brand to benefit the wider county.

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS:

2.1 That the interest free loan of £25,000 is approved to be repaid over a four year period with an initial repayment holiday until September.

2.2 That delegated authority be given to the Head of Enterprise and Community Development in conjunction with the Cabinet Member for Enterprise to finalise and agree detailed terms of the underlying loan agreement and consistent with the terms outlined in this report.

  1. KEY ISSUES:

3.1 Abergavenny Food Festival was created in 1999 by two local farmers in response to the BSE crisis and the resulting lack of consumer confidence in British produce. With the outbreak of Foot and Mouth in 2001, the difficulties worsened for farmers which served to push Festival forward in terms of showcasing local food and the passion of the people who produce it.

3.2 Abergavenny Food Festival enjoys an exceptional reputation as a place for chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers to come together. They have a reputation for being an inclusive and welcoming event for all people to explore and learn about food.

3.3 The Festival delivers an extensive programme of activities including product tastings, children’s activities, masterclasses, hands-on cookery lessons and topical debates. It also prides itself on transforming the way people think about food; challenging and promoting new ideas; pushing the boundaries of current thinking and encouraging people to look differently at where their food comes from.

I’m constantly told by Councils across the whole of Wales that because of the cuts in their funding, put on them by the Welsh Government they are being forced chop services, halt building programmes, close libraries, youth clubs, sports facilities etc. etc. etc.

With the pressure being put on front line services I’m surprised that Monmouthshire Council can bale out Abergavenny Christmas Fare, not just with a loan, but an interest-free loan over 4 years and payments don’t kick off until September. This Christmas Food & Drink Fare had been funded by the Welsh Government certainly as far back as 08/09, last year they were allocated the maximum grant of £5k but would not get it as the event was cancelled due the poor weather. The Food Festival in Abergavenny were given £14,350 by the Welsh Government last year for their September offering. But in previous years when budgets were larger they were awarded at times £50k. Obviously Welsh Country magazine has a strong interest in  Welsh food festivals as so many of our Best Of Welsh & Borders advertisers attend them. It’s interesting what’s available for some festivals and fares, but of course not all.

I’m sure Abergavenny will be applying for funding again this year for both their events.

Producers’ Markets:

  • Victorian Market Hall: £450.00 – prime showcase producer market in central location
  • Lower Brewery Yard includes Night Market, so you must be willing to trade until 11pm in this area: £400. (Double stalls: £800)
  • Outside enclosed market areas including Cheese and Wine Market (Chadwick’s Yard); Tiverton Market (Chadwick’s Place); Upper Brewery Yard Market: £350.00. Double stalls: £700.
  • Street stalls £250.00 – no electricity available
  • The Priory Souk Marquee: £200
  • New Producers’ Market: The Priory Souk Marquee

The Priory Souk Marquee:

 £150.00 for the weekend (£100 Saturday/£50 Sunday if only able to trade for 1 day – this strictly applies to new businesses only)

The Priory Fish and Fizz Market:

  • The Priory Fish Market is £450 for caterers and alcohol sales, and £350 for primary produce.

Abergavenny say their footfall averages about 30,000 visitors, dependent on the weather and with Early Bird tickets working out just under £10.00 each, that alone is a reasonable income, plus there’s further income from a variety of talks that are held. The festival hosts in excess of 200 stands, but do feel free to do your own sums out on that one and then of course add on sponsorships.

Over the years Abergavenny Food Festival must have built up strong contacts with Monmouthshire Council to even be aware that they could apply for an interest free loan, let alone get one!

I do wonder now if other food festivals will be chasing their councils for cash in the form of an interest free loan……………………………………………

 
 

Welsh Food & Drink

12 Mar

I’ve had more news about Welsh food & Drink which I think many of you will find interesting. The link below takes you through to the Welsh Breakfast toolkit but there are other ones as well. I’m just showing one section. These toolkits have been developed jointly by Food and Visit WALES.

https://businesswales.gov.wales/tourism/working-together

Introduction

Let’s keep in touch and work together. Opportunities for getting involved with our campaigns and trade events and exhibitions are usually announced in our regular newsletters and on twitter.

If you’ve specific questions about running a tourism business or starting a business from scratch then contact our colleagues at Business Wales.

Food Tourism

Welsh Government defines food tourism as:

‘any activity that promotes a high quality, distinctive, local and sustainable food experience linked to a particular place’.

We worked with the Welsh Government’s Food Division to launch the Food Tourism Action Plan for Wales 2015-2020. It recognises the potential for growth in this sector.

By highlighting regional products we help visitors to Wales uncover local culinary gems. Offering an authentic Welsh food and drink experience helps make your business unique.

Our simple to use toolkits can help you improve your food offer and visitor experience.

The Food Tourism Toolkit

Hints, tips, sample menus and best practice that will be useful to your business.

The Welsh Breakfast Toolkit

More hints and tips on offering a great Welsh breakfast with sample menus.

The Promotional Toolkit

Helps you to plan, develop and improve food tourism in your area or network.

The Festivals Toolkit

A toolkit that provides help to plan, develop and improve your food festival, or any event.

My constant complaint about the Government and Visit Wales is that there was not enough communication with those working in the various sectors in Wales, but hopefully these toolkits are a step forward. Obviously Welsh Country magazine, WCM, focuses on two markets, those living in Wales and all visitors to Wales. No-one can have failed to notice WCM’s strong focus on Welsh food and drink and of course visitor accommodation. If you don’t find these tool kits, email me and let me know how things can be improved and I’ll pass constructive only comments through, but without identifying you if you prefer.

What is important is that we have two-way conversations with the Government and Visit Wales constantly. Please don’t expect Wag or Visit Wales to know what you need, what is working for you and what isn’t, thy still haven’t the ability to read minds, so we must talk to them.

Pleased to be able to share this with you.

 

 

 
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Welsh Food & Drink

28 Feb

Welsh food and drink is important to Wales and food festivals are a huge part of this. I have today been sent through Food & Drink Wales, notice of two Food Festivals Conference to be held next month. The agenda is as follows:

Food Festivals – Building on success

Tuesday 13.3.18

Location – Plough Inn, Rhosmaen, Llandeilo, SA19 6NP.

Wednesday 14.3.18

Location – Glasdir Business and Conference Centre, Plas yn Dre, Llanrwst, LL26 0DF.

Draft – Outline Of The Day

10.45 Arrival & Coffee

11.15 Welcome

11.20 Aim Of The Day

11.30 Welsh Government Update

11.45 Funding Scheme for 2018

– Management

– Criteria

– Guidelines

– Timescale

– Next steps

– Question & Answer

12.30 Sharing Information

An opportunity for up to 5 minutes to share information and update the room on your plans / project.

13.00 Lunch, Networking

Opportunity to discuss individual applications

13.30 Susie Abson/Catrin Cullen –

Welsh Government Food Division Data Analyst. Insight on consumer trends and ‘Value of Welshness’

14.30 Close & Feedback

15.00 1:1 Sessions to discuss individual applications

16.00 Finish & Depart

I hope all those thinking of running food festivals in Wales, will somehow, find the time to attend either venue. Conferences like this aren’t always appreciated but there are valid reasons to attend. Firstly finding out what the Welsh Government Food Dept. have planned for funding this year and the criteria that will apply. Plus there are opportunities to have a 1:1 session and that surely should be useful to iron out all the concerns you might have. Then there’s the opportunity to met other festival organisers, maybe pick their brains, share thoughts and perhaps find some ways which you could work together if 2 festivals are close enough.

Over the years I’ve been a harsh critic of the Government on food festivals, here on welshfoodbites, and in Welsh Country magazine, but only because I want our food festivals to work for our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers, visitors, organisers and volunteers who put so much work into these events, which is not an easy task. This is an opportunity to talk face-to-face to wag and let them know what is working and what could in the future be improved.  If wag don’t know the problems and queries you are facing, then neither you nor I can blame them for not making changes, it really is as simple as that.

 

 
 

Daffodil Foods In Lidl

16 Feb

Daffodil Foods issued the following press release yesterday 15th February:

Daffodil Foods, based on Llyn Peninsula, are a yogurt supplier and has secured an exciting opportunity with Lidl supplying Lidl own brand Bircher Yogurt.  A range of three muesli based yogurts has landed in Lidl stores across UK last month. This comes as the business prepares to diversify into other dairy products.

Lynne King, Director of the business, explains: “For those who are not in-the-know to what Bircher Muesli actually is, imagine soaking up the oats (gluten free in our case) in fruit juice and mixing them with yogurt and other fruits. You end up with a nutritious breakfast staple packed with dairy, fibre and carbohydrates, all in one pot and easy to eat on the go. It’s basically a summer version of the porridge.”

Lidl has launched 3 different flavours: Cherry & Blueberry, Apple & Raspberry and exotic Mango & Passion fruit.

“As a relatively young business, we were very excited about this venture. We are all for natural, wholesome and innovative dairy products, so it is needless to say that we were overjoyed when Lidl saw our Bircher as bang on trend and decided to put it into their range.” added Lynne.

Bircher yogurt has recently grown in popularity mostly thanks to the food bloggers who crowned it a perfectly balanced breakfast-on-the-go. Almost every large coffee chain has got one of these in their breakfast offer.

Daffodil Foods has seen a double-digit growth in sales over the last 3 years and the Lidl contract will hopefully aid that growth further.

Lidl Bircher joins Daffodil Foods’ portfolio of other private label products as well as Daffodil’s own range of layered yogurts available in independent retailers and Asda stores in Wales.

I am delighted to hear such good news from Daffodil Foods, even more so as they are an advertiser in Welsh Country magazine and their product range is amazing. For a young business this just shows what can be achieved when Director Lynne King as such vision and has a great team with her, capable of not only building a brand but creating a company that has such a good future ahead.

Wales and Welsh food and drink need more companies like Daffodil Foods………