Royal Welsh Show Criteria Update

22 May

For those of you not attending RWAS, but wish to know just how the application process is arrived at, then the information received today from wag might be of interest:

Guidelines & Criteria For Exhibiting In The Food Hall


Only one application per company is permitted. Multiple applications on behalf of a single company, trading under various names, will not be permittedStands will be allocated to product categories to ensure a fair and even representation of all product sectors.

The categories represented will be:

  • Meat                                      
  • Cheese and dairy products
  • Drink
  • Organic products
  • Confectionery and baked products
  • Speciality foods

The Organisers reserve the right, without prejudice, to disregard inappropriate applications that are considered to be outside the guidelines laid out herein.


Applications will score highest from companies where:

  • food/drink is produced, processed or manufactured in Wales.
  • raw materials used include Welsh agricultural produce.
  • a new product, brand or service is to be launched at the Show – priority will be given to companies who will bring new innovative product to the event that will attract trade buyers and consumers to the Food Hall.
  • the application clearly demonstrates the long term added value for the exhibiting company that is expected to be created through exhibiting in the Food Hall.
  • the company does not exhibit elsewhere on the showground with the same offering, e.g. food-to-go.
  • there is limited duplication of the same food/drink provision in the Food Hall, in other words we will limit the number of similar products to be exhibited.
  • The company has not exhibited within the Food Hall before – particular consideration will be given to these companies.

I’m sure this ‘discussion’ will rumble on and I agree with a producer who has suggested, as we have in the past, that wag should still try and assist those that they have rejected by organising a market elsewhere on the showground. I believe that the Farmers’ Market run by Steve Shearman should still go ahead, all being well but that is not large enough to accommodate all producers that require space.




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  1. producer two

    May 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

    As often happens at these events or festivals if over-subscribed producers will feel bitter, that’s human natrue but it’s also our livelihood.
    Why can’t ALL applicants be sent a list of everyone’s scoring from wag’s/fernleigh criteria?
    If the decisions are made from this scoring then that would be a start for producers to think there has been fair play here.
    Kath’s other suggestion as usual was sensible. It cannnot be beyond wag after all these years to know that the Food Hall is always over-subscribed and to do something about it. Years ago wag should have sorted this out with RWAS, especially considering how much wag pay RWAS. Outside space should have been found for a Welsh Food Market and wag should have funded this too. If the Minister insists that food is important to Wales then he should put our money where his mouth is, instead of cutting our food festival budget and allowing our markets to die a death after funding FBA to the hilt.
    Why can’t wag listen and learn?
    If wag don’t understand the Welsh food market, then although they seem then to be in the wrong job, why can’t they talk and listen as well, to people that do?

  2. producer

    May 24, 2013 at 8:31 am

    It’s sad and disappointing that many producers feel as I do that wag food have got so many things wrong in their operation. It carries on in the same vein year after year, there’s never an improvement or communication with producers. Wag seem unable or incapable of admitting they have got things wrong and with that attitude it’s not possible for anything to change, let alone improve.
    I doubt very much wag food take advice from anyone that haven’t got their snouts firmly in the wag food trough. That in itself speaks volumes of the quality of that department.
    Will the new chap make a difference?
    Who knows….
    We care about what we produce, but will he care about us?
    Who knows….
    I’d love to feel positve about the new guy but I’ve been doing this too long. This situation is so serious that maybe a new broom is not enough for wag food. I hope I’m wrong but he needs to be a miracle worker or superman.
    Thanks for keeping us in touch with what’s going on. Only wish you’d some good news for us instead of doom and gloom

  3. trader boy

    May 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    If the power-that-be read and acted on what has been written on here we wouldn’t be in this constant mess with the same problems arising each year.
    It’s ridiculous
    At least allow this selection system to look fair. Tell us who scored what. Guess if the scoring is dubious you wont do that.
    Or is it just like always, and we’re still running with your company face having to fit not only with wag food, but with fernlea too? That’s a tough deal to keep both happy.
    I note that you can plead you case under the criteria if you have not be allowed in the food hall before, which is reasonable. But as we are told this event is oversubscribed, then who decides who gets thrown out? Is it a producer who has been in there for years? But being thrown out because you’ve been in there years must surely mean that during those years, wag food and fernlea deemed you worthy of being there. Or is just a case of throwing out any producer that has had a long stint in the food hall, your time’s up now mate.
    I have to say to wag food that if any department can make error after error and learn nothing, then that’s what I lay that firmly at your door.
    Open your eyes, open your ears. Talk AND listen to people that get what our industry is all about before you knocked it into the ground for good.

  4. trader boy

    May 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I thank you for passing on this information we’d find out nothing of what’s going with wag without you and this site. No producers have the courage to do what you do, you’ve got bottle lady.
    Criteria, I can think of another word for this, but you’d not allow it up.
    I didn’t even bother applying, it’s too expensive for me but certainly I’d go with you idea of wag running a Welsh market outside. Food Hall is too expensive, our mark-ups are not high. Then you’ve no idea if some birdbrain will site you in a silly space, that’s providing you have ticked all their right boxes in the 1st place.
    Wish I was young enough to drop this business and find something else.

  5. trader

    May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am

    If only wag would learn instead of repeating the same mistakes.
    Many traders have no faith in wag/fernleigh’s selection system. To stop this tidal wave of bad feeling, published the scores that each company was awarded by whoever made the decision and at least then we’ll feel better.
    Those with regular salary at the end of each month cannot understand how important the Royal is to food producers. But not only that, none of the decision makers seem to care.
    Why oh why can’t you listen to Kath?
    She’s been suggesting wag do a Welsh market for those whose faces dont fit with wag/fernleigh, but why hasn’t that happened? What is wrong with you people? Do the job we pay you for. Be proactive instead of sitting back and saying there’s not enough space so some traders will be disappointed……blah, blah, blah, for goodness sake sort this mess out, you’ve had years to do it and you’ve still not got it right nowhere near.

  6. cheese

    May 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I’m in agreement with the views, comments that have been left.
    But as I’m getting on, I no longer expect wag to behave any better than it has done over the years. Getting into the food hall has always been an issue and wag have done nothing about it as regards an alternative. In my view it often down to them having favourites, those with brown noses.
    You’re wasting your time hoping you’ll get a list of stand applications, and you’ll never get a list of scoring on their criteria. Their system would be have to be honest for them to be able to do that and we all know that is not the case.
    You’ve always written about the problems at the 3 RWAS shows, making sensible comments and simple improvements that would help producers and the welsh food market, but you are ignored because you are talking sense. Find a way of blocking wag food from this site, it should be just for us as they haven’t got the brains to action what is said and asked for here.

  7. Beefy

    May 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    We are all talking amongst ourselves and singing from the same song sheet.
    Why this continues to be a lost cause is because there is no-one in wag who can listen, understand – as to do that they’d have to know our market, and then react and change things.
    So give up or get a union going

  8. trader

    June 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    You expect companies and businesses to improve otherwise they’d have to stop trading. But it’s scary that no-one I’ve spoken to expect wag food to change or improve. That’s the worst thing about the civil service at least with politicians we can vote them out but with civil servants we don’t even get to vote them in and they really run the country.
    Wag food make the same mistakes and it goes on and on. There’s no improvement, just more of their same old rubbish. I do wonder what it would be like to have their attitude instead of having to live on our wits as food producers have no option but to do. It would do the wag food team good if they swapped jobs with us for a week or more, goodness me they wouldn’t know what had hit them if they could even stand the pace.

  9. trader

    June 6, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I think we are being stupid and foolish if we still believe wag food will change. They’re a lost cause.
    My take on it is that they don’t really know and understand our industry, which is not good as that is what they are paid to do by us. And they don’t do enough to learn about it. But if you can put this ignorance to one side, then why can’t wag consult and get advice from people who do know the food market and not just the people who have a supermarket interest?
    On site this you, i.e wag are given so much constructive help and guidance, some of it you have managed to grasp and action, much of it you haven’t. Yet you use this site but can’t dig in your pockets and fund it. You simply pick at its information for your advantage. Why does she have to do your job for nothing when other food sites are funded? I’ve told her I wouldn’t do this on this basis but she’s adamant that things will change. I think she’s wasting her time and as I said before wag food is a lost cause if they can’t see waht they have here and use it.

    You also ignored what Kath has said over and over so many times, communicate to us, why is that impossible for you to do? Without this site and their Best of Welsh, as producers we’d know absolutely nothing of what is going on in wag food.

    I think I’d set up a system where this site was not available to all for free. Of course I don’t just mean wag but other grant funded food sites, because this is not fair and thye are just using you and your expertise.

  10. hogwash

    June 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Yes more hogwash from wag.
    Yes show the criteria but that’s not enough when you hear of the stands that have not been accepted. Top producers, first-class Welsh products but these companies have not got in.
    You will not have the bottle to publish all scores allocated by you to the companies that applied. YWag will no doubt cite Data Protection that’s if they bother to explain themselves which is most unlikely, as their opt-out excuse.
    But if wag wont agree to do this then we’ll all stick to our belief that their system is seriously flawed, or shall I just say very bent.
    Companies now have to have their face-fitting not only with wag but with Fernleigh as well which is quite a tough order.
    But at least I think you should say which people made the decisions from wag and Fernleigh, because then we’ll know who does not understand our businesses.
    the idea of a Welsh Local market as compensation for those that have been thrown out and for those who have never got in, is a brilliant idea, but as it’s not wag’s idea, but Kath’s little hope of it happening, which is tragic. After all these years wag should stop fighting her and listen, life would be easier for us then and kath!
    This Welsh market marquee should run, and run this year too, but don’t for goodness sake have it run by wag.
    RWAS Food Hall is shambolic, as it always has been of late. All that money put into it and this mess is the result.