Pembrokeshire Show – Food Stands

11 Aug

Can anyone confirm stand price in the Food Centre Wales area, or any other food area at the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Show?

I’ve been quite surprised by the price I’ve been told and would like it verified by anoyone else attending, as it doesn’t make much sense. The price I’ve been given is £60 plus VAT for about a 9m frontage, this includes a pre-show vehicle pass, but no vehicle pass or day ticket for the actual trading day! How can you possibly trade if you don’t have a vehicle pass? As traders always have lots of equipment to bring with them, where will they be parked?  

My memory could be failing, that’s quite possible, but I thought food traders attending last year under the Pembrokeshire Produce Direct banner; paid £100.00 inc VAT for a three day’s trading. That price included daily vehicle passes, as well as daily tickets for two people. But this year it appears to be a different scenario and I cannot believe any event expects traders to pay to come in and park out with the public when they have already paid for a tradestand. The Pembrokeshire website says tickets are £14.00 per day, so for two traders to run one stand it’s an extra £28.00, plus stand fee, plus travel, which will be around £100.00 for the day. Gosh, you’ll have to sell an enormous amount of produce to break even, let alone make some money.      

I’m also not sure if Pembrokeshire Direct are running their food area again this year but it will be interesting to compare prices and what they are offering. I’m sure a producer will confimr or deny what I’ve been told. I cannot understand the confusion here unless Food Centre Wales has just forgotten to send the traders additional vehicle passes and tickets out yet ……………………..



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  1. stallholder

    August 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I’m not going – it’s getting even harder to make many of these events pay. It’s about time organisers didn’t just think traders can keep paying more and more to attend and then not always being treated well when they get there.
    Organisers need to offer stallholders stage payments instead of wanting all our stand fees up front so early. It’s all about cash flow and in January it aint flowing…………Organisers need to think too about where stallholders are parked, is there easy access to our vehicles to get more stock? Is unloading going to be easy? Are electric supplies going to work? It’s a long list but we shouldn’t have the same problems at many events. It’s not fair on us.

  2. Jayne Roderick

    August 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Hi, I have just come back from Pembs show under the banner of Food Centre Wales after a very successful 3 days. I have yet to pay FCW for my table space, I have paid £72.00 to the show for the van pass (this included the driver), I have travelled over 120 miles per day (incurring approx £50.00 of fuel costs) after all expenses, they are under the show prices! I arrived at the show around 7.00am every morning and parked right outside the door! In addition to all this I had 2 members of staff from FCW to assist me at any point if I needed them! (Never mind picking their brains!) If Pembrokeshire Direct had a better deal, then I wish I still lived in Pembs!
    Anyway, I do feel that ALL these shows are far too expensive; I also feel that there is a lack of small producers like myself attending due to the costs involved and the “Money up front” months in advance attitude that goes with them! I also noted the amount of “NON WELSH” producers at the show! Maybe the show should consider a “Welsh” discount, not only the Pembrokeshire Direct deal that they seem to do?
    All told, without the offer from FCW, I would not have considered going, I have not made a fortune but was given the opportunity to showcase my products under their banner, paid slightly less than going it alone and promoted my products to a very wide appreciative audience! I am very proud to supply Cwmcerrig Farm Shop and was told by many of my customers that “Oh, that’s not too far away, this wont last long, at least I know where I can get some more! How reassuring for a nobody like me without a huge marketing budget?
    Please give FCW a break, without them at least 5 welsh producers would not have attended, had to pay less as individuals and experienced the public approval?
    I blame the show for asking too much for their spaces – without all of us, would there be a food hall??

  3. admin

    August 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Thanks for your comment and the news that Pembs show worked well for you. This post was raised because of a call from a producer querying FCW costs. I had no idea what they were or if the figures quoted were correct. I didn’t even know that FCW had taken a stand there. But the bones of the complaint, as you say is that the shows are all charging so much now that it is difficult when selling food to make any money. I think your idea of a Welsh discount is great, but I’m not surehow we get the shows to agree to it. Non Welsh producers seems to be a growing issue and I have had so many comments about it. I think it is also a matter of educating consumers more to buy Welsh produce first but that’s not an easy task especially as English stands don’t all have clear signage as to where they come from!!
    I’m more than happy to give FCW a break – when deserved!!!

  4. Gelato Jo

    September 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Hi there Kath! We have attended Pembrokeshire Show for the past three years; twice with Food Centre Wales (in 2009 and again, this year) and once with Pembrokeshire Produce Direct (last year).

    I must say that 2009 was infuriating for Food Centre Wales (FCW), as their 9m frontage was situated at the back of the Marquee; many people commented that this was a rather unsporting way to showcase Welsh produce and many visitors didn’t even get that far and had no idea any of us were there. I felt extremely sorry for FCW as they were at a Welsh Show, anxious to promote artisan Welsh food; but the “prime pitch” went instead to a stand of the same size, selling Mediterranean olives – a company not even based in Wales. I know Angela worked very hard to get a better “pitch” thereafter; the organisers evidently listened, as for the past two years this has thankfully been the case.

    I am aware that another problem FCW has experienced, has been in the issue of passes. As I understand it from the event website, each 9m frontage tradestand is entitled to four personnel passes per day; two pre-show vehicle passes; and a couple of Show vehicle passes; with individual (3m) frontages getting three personnel passes, one pre-show and one vehicle pass. Obviously, if FCW were there in their own capacity, this would be sufficient for their staff and vehicles; however as they want to give the producers who use FCW’s facilities the opportunity to showcase their produce, this is clearly insufficient; albeit a good opportunity for smaller producers to get a “discounted” pitch, as well as valued help on-stand from the FCW staff. Unfortunately it would appear that the Event organisers are unwilling to issue additional passes etc to FCW even though the producers really do need them; as otherwise it would make it an expensive option if you could only trade for one day (which was the case for me, this year). Whilst I understand pre-show passes are ‘gratis’ extra Show vehicle passes are charged at £60 each, albeit it covers the full three days. Notwithstanding, personnel passes are also required; at a cost to traders for any extras, of £12 each.

    Given that FCW is a recognised, official Government-run organisation, I think it was a little unfair that the Show were not more flexible when it came to giving them extra passes for the stallholders – after all, the FCW stand is specifically about promoting local Welsh produce.

    However, when I explained my predicament to the Show staff – that it would be untenable for me to attend for only one day with such burdensome additional costs (£84 – which not taking into account fuel, equipment, ancillaries, the produce itself, miscellaneous expenses etc would have amounted to £156) they kindly gave me the vehicle pass and personnel passes I required to enable me to trade for the day. So – nothing is insurmountable! :0)

    Thankfully also, we were invited to the Show by FCW, in July; when at least cash flow is a little easier…! Whilst I understand that Event organisers have to plan, I also sympathise with ‘Stallholder’ that to have to fork out for so many of these shows, so early in the year, is just overwhelmingly expensive at a traditionally lean time. I know of several angry traders who mentioned they’d paid “premium” prices for their pitches only to discover that others were paying less, the closer it got to the Show (and this is not the only example this year). Yet it seems that every year, public gate prices go up; pitch prices increase; however traders are loathe to put up their own prices, owing to the dreaded “credit crunch”.

    Food Hall traders at this Show are additionally challenged by the fact that the Food Court is directly outside the Hall’s entrance; which takes away a lot of trade from those inside. Bizarrely I know of one trader who was offering a quality national cuppa with a Welsh Cake for a mere £1; but was losing business to the outside traders, who were charging £1.80 for just a standard tea!

    Pretty much everyone I spoke to said their takings were significantly down on previous years (although this applies to shows and food festivals in general, from what I can gather); and pointed out there was a lack of visitors in the Hall who had purchased any beverage, snack or take-home produce from therein – which is such a shame, as there was so much wonderful artisan food available (albeit less and less of the local producers, which worryingly seems to be the case year-on-year). Lunchtime did see a “surge” but unfortunately many of us found that a lot of this extra traffic was of people wanting their “free lunch” samples…which again; with expensive gate prices etc, I am aware some members of the public do see as an “entitlement”, perhaps not realising just how much the producers have to pay to be there, as well!

    Admittedly with spiralling costs behind the scenes such as animal feed; bedding; ingredients; fuel etc – as well as the hikes on tradestand prices in general – it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify attending many events. This is such a shame; as we all love to showcase our produce and especially, to meet our wonderful customers, many of whom loyally follow us to venues where they know we’ll be – and of course, we are immensely proud to fly the Welsh flag. But we have to be realisitic: there is a world of difference between business vanity and business sanity!

    One further “niggle” was the issue of security at the Show – which thankfully was extremely tight, don’t get me wrong. However, this was to the point of being Draconian and restrictive at the end of a day’s exhausting trading. I understood that, as was the case the previous year, all stallholders were expected to trade until 7pm; which we were happy to do: we always respect the wishes of the Show, and of course the Public have paid their entry fees, expecting those whom they have come to see, to be there. However, when you are having to dismantle your tradestand at the end of that tiring day, it is immensely frustrating to have a tetchy security guard demanding that the Hall must be completely vacated by 7.10pm as that is when he is going to lock the doors, regardless; it was most unhelpful and frustrating. I must thank the staff from FCW who (just as they had in the morning, in reverse!) swiftly and efficiently helped me to get everything loaded into my vehicle with the minimum of fuss and in a very short time – they were extremely good-humoured and supportive despite it being a long day for us all.

    And thanks also to the traders with whom we shared such fantastic quality food and drink – they are the most generous, warm-hearted, lovely people you could wish to meet; and who deserve every support from the great Welsh public for all their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for the Nation’s marvellous local produce.