Abergavenny Update

02 Oct

I have obviously hit a nerve!  

Today I have received a letter of complaint from HCC stating that I am implying that HCC is corrupt.

I state most emphatically that I am not implying that at all. What I am saying is that HCC is not giving me all the facts about their spending.

HCC have been asked how much they spent overall on their stand at the Royal Welsh, no specifics, just an overall figure. This question followed comments into us from butchers, who felt that this was not the best way to promote Welsh meat. So this is HCC butchers that are not happy and have different ideas about meat marketing. This question would not have been raised unless it came from one of our Best Of Welsh & Border producers. HCC told us that this was information was commercially sensitive and could upset their stand builder. I didn’t think I was clever enough to work out how much the stand provider gets from HCC from an overall figure, but there we are. That’s financial information HCC can’t supply to me.      

Abergavenny Food Festival lost in excess of £30,000 of Food Festival Funding this year. On the Abergavenny Food Festival website both HCC and Visit Wales appeared as sponsors. My admittedly cynical view was wondering if the funding had been directed via different ‘government’ parties. So I asked questions, to be told that both HCC and Visit Wales are just exhibitors. I then asked why all the trade stands are not listed as sponsors, as this simply still doesn’t make sense.

So I am not implying or accusing any corruption, but I am stating that in my view, transparency and openness is lacking and obviously raises queries.   




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  1. BBB

    October 2, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Methinks you’ve found a new can of worms to play with here…

    Surely WAG wouldn’t withdraw funding to meet targets and then make up the shortfall “indirectly”…?

    Bet they won’t like that question!

  2. Producer2

    October 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    So HCC were not sponsors, but exhibitors, did they pay what the rest of us did for their stall? I think I may know the answer to that one.

    What do you call a company that takes money from you every week but does not use it for the specified purpose?

    HCC gets a levy from every pig that goes through a Welsh abattoir, to promote pork. They do not promote pork, the last inclusion of anything for the pork industry was February 2012.

    It may not be corrupt, it may even be legal, but it certainly is not right.

  3. trader chap

    October 3, 2013 at 8:54 am

    If HCC say they paid as an exhibitor I’ve no prob. with HCC being listed as a sponsor, as long as me and the rest of the exhibitors are listed as sponsors too.
    Why can’t HCC see that it looks unfair?
    Stop asking further questions K. they just don’t like it, like me being left off the sponsors list.

  4. cup cake

    October 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I don’t get why HCC can’t see it from our side.
    I paid a lot of money to go there and I wasn’t put down as a sponsor, so why were they and visit wales? In my place or any other exhibitor wouldn’t they be confused?
    K. was asking on behalf of a producer, who Iike me would never be brave enough to ask directly in case he’s blocked next year.
    Why can’t you get where we are coming from?
    good for you for trying to get answers.

  5. HIHO

    October 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I pay into HCC but perhaps I shouldn’t air my view in public. Well we’ll just keep moaning amongst ourselves and nothing will improve, is that progress?
    But I’m another one that would ask you to ask a question on my behalf. I’m not proud of that, it’s cowardly of me and it isn’t what we pay you for. We pay for an advert, but it’s the lots of extras that we love and that work so well.
    You don’t deserve such flak and what seems like bullying for sticking up for us. You’ve had that on the food side.
    That first producer must feel dreadful.
    Work together, that’s what our industry needs. Try and make progress, especially for the likes of me the smaller producer.

  6. meat man

    October 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

    What hope of us all working together? Helping each sector, not just the big boys?
    Working with the butchers and producers? Talking to them, telling them what’s going on, but asking them what they want and need?
    Working with the media, getting positive messages out, not government food spin.
    Wishful thinking

  7. butcher

    October 4, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I’m for anyone asking questions, there’s nothing wrong in that. And Kath was asking on behalf of another, but you’re shooting the messenger. The problem is the answers given do not clarify this situation.
    Those of us that had stands there, paid our stand money and were not down as sponsors. So why were HCC and Visit Wales down as sponsors? Why not Mrs Cupcake as she’d paid too? It seems straightforward to me, if we’re all exhibitors, we’re either all sponsors or none of us are.
    Instead of shouting and hollering, but just clarify what’s happened for us without your brain power. Why is there a difference between you/them and us?
    There’s always been a gap between them and us it’s now just growing and getting wider.
    I can’t see anywhere where Lamb Man has said who he is. Does he work, let’s say in the meat trade? Why can’t he front up who he is?

  8. trader

    October 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    If questions are fully answered then follow-on questions are not required.
    Not the case here.
    I took a stand there, paid my money so why am I not a sponsor like HCC? This is unfair and of course gets people talking.
    More than a can or worms to me

  9. meat man

    October 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

    All Kath has done is ask questions and that has not been well received.
    So why not explain why I paid for my stand but I’m not listed as a sponsor and HCC say they were an exhibitor, just like me, but they are listed as a sponsor.
    Call me simple, call me stupid, but this cannot and does not make sense.
    I’ve checked all comments and I can’t find LambMan telling us who he is, but my guess would be he works for HCC. If he doesn’t why, can’t he tell us? If he does work for HCC, is it ok from their side if he slates Kath? Is that fair?
    Kath is not hiding behind a pen name and she was asking a question only because she’d been asked and she didn’t know the answer. HCC should maybe ask themselves why this person didn’t ask them directly. It sure would have saved K. a lot of work and hassle.
    So let’s slate her again shall we for helping a producer?
    I wish some people could change their attitude. Try working together and I mean all of us. Build up some much needed trust and stop shooting the messenger.

  10. butcher

    October 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    What have we come to if a journalist cannot ask questions?
    It says in this latest piece on Abergavenny that a ‘letter’ has been received by Kath, nothing more than that. But what’s said here and what has NOT been said here, speaks volumes.
    As I say what have we come to?
    Another comment says work together, but how can that happen if some of us can’t even talk to each other? Support each other is what we should be doing and that will make our industry stronger which is needed.
    Ask HCC a question but accept the first answer, what is life coming to?

  11. TT

    October 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    transparency and openness if only that could happen

  12. Meat man

    October 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    You carry on hitting nerves girl because like you and Ian, none of us traders can make sense of this.

  13. meat producer

    October 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    It looks like nobody is allowed an opinion or to state what happened when they visited. Don’t ask questions of HCC or visitwales because they might not like having to answer.
    Well I wish HCC would answer this for me. Why, if I paid for my tradestand, as HCC said they did, why I’m not listed as a sponsor? HCC’s stand payment qualified them as a sponsor, but my payment didn’t, as the other other 200+ tradestands didn’t qualify as sponsors either.
    What’s the difference between HCC and the rest of us? Might HCC tell me. Or perhaps Lamb Man, the person that can only criticise from behind his pen name. Can he explain to me and the other tradestand holders that were not able to be counted as sponsors, why we were treated so differently to HCC?

  14. butcher

    October 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I’m a bit behind reading this site but can’t believe what has gone on. Why are you being threatened? Even Lamb Man, who I’m sure works for HCC, thinks he can hide behind his made-up name and have a go at you. It stinks.
    I know friends who paid for stands at Abergavenny and they weren’t treated as sponsors like HCC and visit Wales – so why is there a difference? It makes no sense and what’s more it’s not fair. Why treat the rank and file producers so badly?
    I am appalled that this sort of thing is still going on, where’s the level playing field guys?