Wag’s Help Food Festivals Flourish???

16 Apr

You will be aware of how much time and effort I have spent trying to get the food festival funding list from Wag. So I had to take care with the heading for this one, just in case I got you too excited. So let me warn you now, excitement will not be a problem, frustration and annoyance surely will. Follows is a Press Release from wag, shown in full with no editing from me, received this afternoon:

16 April 

Welsh Government Helps Food And Drink Festivals To Flourish

Food and drink festivals all over Wales are to be offered a share of a £339,280 pot in support from the Welsh
Government. The 33 festivals, large and small, feature a wide range of products and producers- among them many of the Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards winners.

Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries said: “Food festivals play an important role in attracting visitors and providing a showcase for producers. The Welsh Government is committed to continuing to support the Welsh food industry and strengthening its culture. Welsh food and drink remains one of our popular tourist attractions, and also plays a vital part in the Welsh economy.”

“ I am delighted that once again we are able to help a number of these events.”

During 2012 the festivals will collectively receive £339,280 in assistance, marking Wales’ reputation as a producer of high quality and diverse food and drink.

Well dear readers, you might well ask me what festivals are running this year and how much are the favoured 33 festivals are to receive. Sorry but that information was not included or attached. So I have emailed the contact I was given to get those answers but I was emailed by return saying my contact was away until 1st May – brilliant! Next option was to try another contact and have got a reply. I’ve been told that wag have made offers to the fesitvals and when they have been accepted, wag will then publish this list on their website.

Now isn’t that helpful? Well actualy no, because once again I have no idea when this will happen. Is wag’s aim that I go onto their website on a daily basis to help their rankings improve? Hmmmm, think I’ve got better things to do than that……….

Some food festival organisers are not very happy, and I a sure wag will not be the slightest perturned on that one, but we are still getting too many calls in from festivals that haven’t got as much as they need and are now having committee meetings to see if their festival can actually go ahead. It’s not a good state of affairs and not a system that has proved workable. Wonder how much the big three have been reduced, but in reality we’ll not be told how much they applied for unless I do yet another FOI question.

Which maybe is the quickest way to sort this out once and for all.

I’ve ‘asked’ wag for the initial offer list which will be quite useful to compare year on year, but if and when that might arrive, is anyone’s guess, bearing in mind we are working in wag-time. So once more, please don’t hold your breath.


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  1. trader

    April 17, 2012 at 8:49 am

    As you say a waste of time and your money whislt wag keep pushing you around in circles.
    If only wag was adult enough to put what little energies their team appears to have into helping food producers, instead of trying to block you left right and centre.
    You are asking for information that all of us wants and we were promised it weren’t we about 19/3/?
    I’m totally disgusted with their behaviour, what do they think they are achieving here?
    I admire what you are doing and I admire you not being put off because of their childish behaviour.
    I’ve read most of the Miller report and I don’t see why we now have these figures thrown at us when this was obtained by a few people filling in a questionnaire.
    All festivals don’t have an entry fee so numbers of people attending cannot be accurate. The spend per customer £20.00, if that was true many producers wouldn’t be in such a dire financial state. How many filled in this blurb and said they’d be spending nothing – because that applies to many of them and you only have to look at the bags or lack of them to see it for your self.
    Not having a food festival list by middle of April shows what a poor job wag food continues to do.

  2. trader girl

    April 18, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Well done for asking the questions we traders daren’t do in case we, like others have been, are blackballed.
    I wonder how many foi questions you have asked about food
    must say the information you have given us is the most we’ve ever had in the ten years I’ve been trading.

  3. admin

    April 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for leaving your comment and pleased I’m asking the questions you want answers to.
    I’ve ben told so often by produces that they daren’t ask wag questions because of being blackballed, grants suddenly stopped etc. I’ve taken this up with wag food but been told this doesn’t happen – and IF it did, wag has a complaint procedure, so isn’t that good news? An impartial body will look at the complaint, only it appears that civil servants look at it themselves which is pointless and unfair.
    As for the number of FOIs I have asked, I must say I’ve not even counted. But guess food related ones must be about 20 – with lots more in my head to send through!!! Well at least I’m giving them something to do.
    The problem with FOIs is wording questions that wag have to answer without charging me £600.00 to get the information I’ve asked for.
    Many of my questions simply don’t get answered…………………..

  4. Rubbish

    April 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Utter, total rubbish.
    Food festivals flourishing, pull the other leg please! This is yet another civil servant that believes Miller report and will shove its facts and figures down our throats until we choke.
    I cannot see how a small survey can now be taken as true. All festival don’t charge so I guess a broadbrush stroke is used. Are people also going to say that the come into a food festival and will spend just a fiver? Of course not human nature will push them to lie and say £20. Traders look at people an mentally count the number of food bags being carried around, knowing if you’re quiet how many others are busy. If you work out Millers figures with nnumber of people attending and then their 20 quid spend then all producers are gaining a fortune at every event.
    I cannot believe much of this survey apart from bits that seem to support and agree with welshfoodbites.

  5. trader

    April 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Flourish oh give us credit for some sense.
    If you want to know if our industry is flourishing ask the traders the ones whose livelihood depends on selling food.
    Rude and insulting I would call this but you are showing us what the people in charge think.
    They must have a team of spin doctors or fairy tale writers creating these nonesense pieces.

  6. girl trader

    April 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    How do you know when are you going to get this festival list?
    I am angered, not only that none of us have seen this list yet, becasue it’s obviously wag’s latest big secret. I cannot though see why the list couldn’t have been sent out to us and have a note somewhere saying festivals have yet to confirm that they are going ahead with their event. Surely that’s a way to do it.
    My anger is also directed at wag for wasting so much of your time. I’m not sure how many journalists in Wales are interested in local food, but there can’t be many and in the real world, not Wales, any food department would be working with you, not spinning you around in circles. You’re there to help them, but they cannot see it, and I’m at a lost to see their problem. No that’s not true, I can see their problem, but if I wrote what I really, really thought you’d no doubt not allow it to be shown.