Cornish Ice-Cream At RWAS

19 Aug

If you’ve been following recent posts on the Royal Welsh show you’ll be aware that, as last year, I’m livid that a mobile van selling Cornish ice-cream was parked outside the Welsh food hall. Well my rant didn’t go unnoticed, as a food producer took the baton from me and raised my concerns with RWAS. This food producer didn’t attend the RWAS and their company do not make ice-cream, so there was no self-interest there. My thanks for this company helping out. They were rightly angry at this obvious lack of support for Welsh ice-cream producers and blatantly putting Cornish ice-cream in front of our Welsh visitors.

Pleased though that RWAS issued a prompt reply, which is shown below:

  • The ice-cream contacts go out to tender which is split into two halves; each half awarded 7 unit positions. We circulate to all companies that request tenders with a number being from Wales.
  • As we have been very happy with Real Dairy Ice Cream Company Ltd over the years we awarded a three year contract. This current contract predates the opening of the new food hall. The contract was for seven units and included the site in question.
  • After a complaint last year, we had discussions with the company who agreed to sell Welsh ice-cream from an unbranded unit as the site was still under contract. Unfortunately there was a technical problem with this unit so a branded unit had to be used but with a sign stating that the ice cream being supplied was from Franks Ice Cream Ammanford. 

As you can see from the above we have tried as best we can with a contract in place to remedy the situation.

I have to take on board what RWAS are saying, but what are RWAS’ priorities? Selling these ice-cream pitches to the highest bidder or supporting Welsh food producers? Can anyone guess the answer? I appreciate that RWAS went out to tender, but it would be interesting to know how many companies were told about the tender and how many tenders were received from UK and from Wales. I don’t mind quite as much if ice-cream vans are scattered about the show ground and they’re not Welsh. In my world of course they would be, but I’m trying to be realistic here and my annoyance is with the mobile van outside the food hall. My main objection and I will not accept excuses as to why this cannot happen, the ice-cream van outside the food hall not only should be selling ice cream from Wales, but it should be as clear as crystal that this mobile van is Welsh – not Cornish. My other question is why no-one at RWAS ever thought, before issuing their tender that only an ice cream van from Wales should be outside the food hall. This pitch should have been excluded from their tender and a Welsh ice cream producer should be awarded that slot. I believe this is not just basic commonsense it’s supporting Welsh producers at a Welsh show – easy peasy in my book. 

I think that this three year tender should be up for renewal for next year and I urge RWAS to not allow the food hall site to be included in the tender. This site must be allowed to go to a Welsh ice cream producer.  As the Royal Welsh Show you should be proud to shout that you are fully supporting Welsh producers and that means the ice cream guys too.

I don’t believe you’ll have an excuse not to put Welsh producers first next year, so please don’t let me down again and just try harder to get these things right.     


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  1. Andy

    August 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    We had a similar arrangement at our Festival of the Tides in Penclawdd. We wanted to use a local van / ice-cream trader and he readily agreed, when asked, to sell Franks ice-cream on the day.

  2. trader

    August 20, 2013 at 9:58 am

    It is obvious to all of us WORKING in the food industry that Welsh producers should come first but it is a mystery why wag food and rwas can’t get that simple message.

  3. producer TWO

    August 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Why would anyone living in Wales not do everything possible to support our food businesses?
    This is scandalous and I don’t get that it is this site that highlights the perfectly obvious, a van selling Cornish ice-cream outside our newish food hall and the royal WELSH show. Why did no-one who could make a decision realise how utterly stupid that was and how stupid wag and rwas look?
    well done on this but it shouldn’t be you doing it. In fact it should never have to be highlighted as it should never have happened.

  4. Jay

    August 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Good on you for bringing this to people’s attention once again this year. I agree with other comments left elsewhere on this site that it shouldn’t be your job, ‘cos you don’t get paid for this do you? Us producers are too chicken to do what you are doing and I admire you for sticking up for us. Just tragic that wag are unable to listen and act on what we say we need.