I have to say a huge thank-you to a number of Best Of Welsh & Border producers, (BOW), that told me about this event. Billed as a trade exhibition of Regional suppliers, especially for the hospitality and retail sector, it was held yesterday, the 21st February. I have no idea why I wasn’t told ‘officially’ that it was taking place, especially as I went last year - so my thanks for those BOW that kept me in the loop!
When I’d signed in I was given a bag of what I thought were just brochures, but on returning to work I found quite a good exhibition plan brochure. Maybe if it runs next year the plan layout could be given out separately. I also found in my bag a brochure for Welsh Rarebits, which was quite a surprise considering they hadn’t even got a stand at the event. I’m still wondering as to why this particular brochure was there and can only think Welsh Rarebits are best pals with either Wag or Pembrokeshire County Council, or maybe both. But no point my puzzling as I cetainly know by now that we don’t have the luxury of trading on a level playing field here in Wales.
I think there were roughly 90 stands of which about 40 were food, and many of them our BOW producers. It was a pleasure to catch up with so many of you and hear your latest news, along with a few of your worries.
As always there was mixed raction on the business front. Some traders said they had some good interest, whilst others felt if much quieter than last year. I’m unaware if Pembrokeshire altered their marketing plans for this event this year, or if it was simply a sign of businesses struggling through the recession.
However I was delighted that ‘most’ stands were well supplied with literature, business cards, promotional offers and price lists. Some traders were smartly dressed in their company clothing, others were in business suites, but not many traders wore company name badges. In the afternoon, when there weren’t too many punters about, traders were mingling and badges would have been useful, not just for each other but also for the remaining visitors.
The quality of Welsh food stands was excellent and I’d be very surprised if visitors were not impressed with the variety and selection and quality on offer. I was delighted to see Blas ar Fwyd Cyf in attendance, who are a company based in Llanrwst. The company initially started off as a deli, but have now grown so much they run a fleet of refrigerated vehicles supplying Welsh produce across Wales to shops, hotels, and restaurants. Their stand was superb and I spent ages on it, not realising how much their range has expanded and now includes it’s own range of award-winning goods. It will certainly make my life easier when I get moans from anyone who is struggling to find Welsh products!!!
I do hope that in the next few weeks the traders manage to turn their contacts into some orders.