The Food Festival Saga Rumbles On

26 Jan

Another week on and the food festival saga continues – sadly, only a small amount of progress made. But I have to congratulate our team for their huge efforts and unstinting enthusiasm – despite feeling much of the time we are banging our heads against a Welsh Assembly Government,  WAG (Food) wall.

I’m still being asked for an official list of food festivals, but as already said that’s highly unlikely for next few months. Despite the fact that it really is not our job to do, Rob & Janet from our Welsh Country team, have complied a ‘draft’ list which will be sent out to all our Best Of Welsh & Borders (BOW), within the next day or so. It should help some producers with their forward planning. We’ll also give them an update of latest foodie news too.

I’ve been told officially by WAG (Food) that a Food Organisers Conference has been arranged – I’ve still not been told where or when or invited – but I’m still getting a few calls in from organisers saying they have not received their invite. Those guys have been put onto WAG simply because I cannot help.

Many producers are of course very concerned about WAG’s slow response to what food festivals are going ahead this year, but in fact it isn’t any slower than any other year. I always wanted to publish WAG’s food festival listing in our J/Feb issue but that was never going to be a goer. I hoped that by being so early we’d have time in future issues to push and promote weekend breaks around some festivals so we could really encourage foodie lovers to visit our great festivals. 

Nothing will stop Welsh Country magazine continuing to promote local produce through our ‘Buy Local – Eat Local campaign and through our BOW directory. We’ll continue to promote our food producers. We’ll also continue to support any food festivals and farmers markets through 2011 that want to work with us. So if you’re in the Welsh food industry and you think we can help you, just give Rob or Ian a call and we’ll be delighted to have you with us. If in doubt just talk to any of our BOW – they have been our best advert over the years.   

As a journalist you’d think it would be a simple, speedy task getting answers to the questions I ask. In fact, over the years it has been very difficult and extremely time-consuming. My objective has never been to annoy WAG, but somehow I’ve appeared to do this, but I can assure you it’s certainly without even trying! My aim with WAG has always been to work with them, because that does make sense. As the only pan-Wales title that is passionate about local food, we can really help them in their role. I appreciate it is difficult hearing queries and complaints, but if taken the ‘right’ way, they could action and improve on how things are run. If this could be achieved, we’ll see huge improvements, more growth in the food sector and then more happy producers. I think I’d sum it up as I have done for years, that communication is the key and maybe this is a good place for WAG to start off 2011.

Welsh Food Bites is an incredibly popular site and is well ranked on It continues to out perform other Welsh food related websites, even those that are funded!!


Tags: , , , , , ,

  1. Producer - homemade in Wales

    January 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Had to leave another comment here
    I’m a bit of a computer geek and just checked your rankings, plus other foodies ones – well yours are impressive aren’t they?
    I’m also though rather stupid, because I thought WAG would have asked you to take content control of one of their food websites. I think it would be a good idea to email you through the magazine and ask you that one! Diolch

  2. Local Food Man

    February 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I shall be very cross if Welsh Gov. stops support for food festivals – my brother makes chutney and he needs festivals and markets to sell his produce. Every producer does not want to be eaten up by the supermarkets and if some of these events don’t take place I just don’t know what he’ll do. The easy option is to pack up and go on the dole. I’d rather festivals were supported rather than the flashy award event Welsh Gov. runs surely that’s more important – well it is to my brother!!!

  3. festival goer

    February 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I have read through much of this site and I would like someone to ask Welsh gov what are their main priorities for Welsh food. I would have thought festival would have been at the top of the list, but reading this it’s not the impression I get.
    Is this a question we should ask The Minister as I guess we should see a lot more of her as May elections approach? I’m not stupid and do realise cuts have to be made, but not sure festivals should suffer most. How much does the government spend on these festivals? Does anyone know?