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Consultation Re Action Plan For Food & Drinks Industry 2014-2020

17 Feb

My original post on this topic was on 5th December 2013

Bearing in mind that I appear to be wag food’s unpaid, unappreciated PR & Marketing person, I just wanted to issue a reminder  that responses are required by 3rd March 20014 to this latest consultation.

In addition to four meetings, the last one taking place last Friday in Carmarthen, you can respond by email to foodpolicy@wales.gsi.gov.uk or you can respond to wag food’s own set of questions by visiting: wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/foodandfisheries/action-plan-for-the-food-and-drinks-industry-2014-2020.

Many of you have taken me to task for posting wag food message on 5th December. You have told me that you ‘obeyed’ and wasted your time some 4-5 years ago, when, despite our disagreement, after that consultation, wag food insisted on issuing a 10 year plan, when we asked for a five year plan. You rightly felt, as Ian and I did, that wag food were once more paying lip service to producers to simply tick one of their blessed boxes. Some of you have told me in fairly blunt terms that it is pointless you wasting more of your time, in theory anyway, ‘talking’ to a department that seems incapable of listening. I really do understand where you are coming from. The point is wag food don’t comprehend that. From feedback I’ve had, the four meetings haven’t been that well attended, although I was told they were public meetings, but how the public knew about them is another puzzle. It appears many attendees were the usual shiny shoe and suit brigade that are well paid to attend meeting after meeting. It would appear those of us that have to earn our living by producing goods and selling them, seemingly had more productive ways of spending half a day. I’ve now asked twice for the numbers of people attending each meeting but still waiting to see if that happens, bearing in mind I can’t be given a list of attendees as this would be against Data Protection.

Again I understand and sympathise with you, BUT this is your industry. If you are seriously happy with the way wag food are running food in Wales then I’m sure you will not be bothered about any possible changes. However this is not what many of you are telling Ian, I and our team. Welsh food and drink is the responsibility of wag food, that’s how it is. But wag food keep saying to me that they now have a new regime and things are changing, but whether they take on board my response that I for one can’t see any changes at ground level, well I doubt it! Yet wherever you stand on wag food and Alun Davies, the Minister’s latest consultation, please do me just one favour send an email to foodpolicy@wales.gsi.gov.uk even if you only wish to register your lack of faith in this latest consultation or queries in that department. Give those civil servants something to think about. Of course I’m not stupid enough to say your views will hit home, if only I could promise that, but you could always copy your AM’s onto that same email.

In my last chat with some members of wag food I tried to explain that in your/my view, you’ve lost trust and faith in their department. Again I’m not sure that this comment registered either but unless we keep talking to or at them, how can they hope to understand what is going out here, when so often they are encased in their glass tower?

Please, please, please emails wag food and give them one more chance to listen and understand the industry they are paid to look after, support and promote.  

However, please also be aware of:

Data protection

How the views and information you give us will be used:

Any response you send us will be seen in full by Welsh Government staff dealing with the issues which this consultation is about. It may also be seen by other Welsh Government staff to help them plan future consultations.

The Welsh Government intends to publish a summary of the responses to this document. We may also publish responses in full. Normally, the name and address (or part of the address) of the person or organisation who sent the response are published with the response. This helps to show that the consultation was carried out properly. If you do not want your name or address published, please tell us this in writing when you send your response. We will then blank them out.

© Crown Copyright 2013

Names or addresses we blank out might still get published later, though we do not think this would happen very often. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 allow the public to ask to see information held by many public bodies, including the Welsh Government. This includes information which has not been published. However, the law also allows us to withhold information in some circumstances. If anyone asks to see information we have withheld, we will have to decide whether to release it or not. If someone has asked for their name and address not to be published, that is an important fact we would take into account. However, there might sometimes be important reasons why we would have to reveal someone’s name and address, even though they have asked for them not to be published. We would get in touch with the person and ask their views before we finally decided to reveal the information.    

 
 

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  1. Foodie

    February 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Thank you for the reminder. I have responded (at length) in the theory that if I did not, then I could not complain that they do not listen!
    It struck me that their figures are based on food businesses who are Vat registered, which takes out many of the smaller producers, and I pointed this out clearly and at length why this is not a good idea.
    It also strikes me that they quote the Data Protection act for not giving you who had attended the meetings, but it seems OK to give out this information if you respond to the consultation!
    Under the Data Protection Act, personal data is exempt from disclosure if such disclosure would result in a breach of any of the data protection principles. The Freedom of Information Act would cover people checking up on the consultation, without giving out names and addresses.