Update On The Welsh Food Summit

18 Jul

Published in full is the written statement on the Welsh Food Summit and Workshop – 12th July 2012, held at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes states:

On Thursday July 12 I convened a Welsh Food Conference at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Llanarthne. I am very grateful to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales for agreeing to attend the conference and for giving the opening address. His Royal Highness has been a consistent and strong supporter of food producers in Wales and his vision for a sustainable and successful food sector is one that is both compelling and persuasive.
The Welsh Government is committed to doing all we can to deliver a thriving and sustainable food sector that is able to support and sustain employment and prosperity across the whole of Wales. I am confident that there is a long term viable future for our food and drink industry but aware that there are challenges as well as opportunities.

The purpose of last week’s conference was to bring together people from across the different parts of the food supply chain to discuss how the Welsh Government can strengthen its work to support food production in Wales. I am anxious to listen to key people in the industry and ensure that their views shape the future development of the Welsh Government’s approach.
There are opportunities for change now – arising from the latest round of CAP reform and the need for a new Rural Development Plan beyond 2013. The Food and Farming Sector Panel is providing the Government with advice on taking forward economic development policy and I will focus during the summer on how I expect the Government to deliver its food strategy. I will be making a further written statement in the autumn which captures the views of the conference and delivers this vision for Wales.
As you are aware I was not invited to this food summit, apparently if I was a part of the Royal Welsh Press Corps I would have been! Not quite sure why I couldn’t have been invited as a member of the audience, but I’ll leave that with you to ponder on………..
I’ve asked who was invited, but wag could not reveal this information, as according to them this is against Data Protection issue. . I’ve now taken further advice and submitted an FOI to see if this is a secret that can be uncovered.

My concern is that Mr Davies is talking to only ‘key’ people in the food industry, as I guess he was talking to ‘key’ people at his Dairy Summit held a few weeks ago.To me this seems to read that this statement does not cover micro and very small producers, they can never be called ‘key’. Of course they don’t have a recognised voice either, so how does government know their views and concerns? The fact that you don’t have a voice is of course down to you as producers to sort, but email me if you need more information. My interest as always is our Best Of Welsh producers and they deserve to be consulted and heard too.

I’d be interested in your views on this. If you wish to leave a comment be assured that you can, and will, remain anonymous.


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  1. Another Producer

    July 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Maybe you pick your “keys” to fit the doors you have already built?
    Micro producers may be giants one day – all the giants started small one way or another.
    If Alun Davies was really interested in the food chain, he could open a dialogue through a web site, but that may throw up views that he cannot accommodate.