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Food Festival Application Forms 2014 -2015 Forms for 2014

25 Feb

Huge thanks to the kind person who called in yesterday, Monday 24th asking if I knew the food festival funding forms had been sent out that day. There were huge giggles from both of us realising that was such a silly question, wag food send me some information that they’d know would be of interest to me and followers on welshfoodbites, oh please………………….

Co-operating, working together, helping each other, making life easier, stopping wasting my time, but reality check, this is wag food we are talking about. I’m aware wag food are not fans of this site and I can understand that as I’m often taking them to task. But they know the support we have and give to our Best Of Welsh & Border producers, most of the complaints and grumbles come directly from them. But wouldn’t a better attitude be for them to address the many issues that are raised year after year?

Anyway back to this post, my caller then sent me the forms through so many thanks. This was followed within an hour by another supporter asking if I had got the funding forms through. So thanks guys, pleased as always that you are talking to me. I don’t mind at all if I get twenty emailed copies of the same thing, better that than be left in the dark by wag food and the press office. Communication is after all the key, well in my world it is. I’ve not copied all the forms out as kill a tree comes to mind, just look again at last year’s and you’ll be virtually up-to-date. I’m not pleased that there are so few changes from last year, because in my view last year’s criteria didn’t work. Maybe in that case it would have been better not doing a food festival evaluation last year, save some much needed money, but wag can’t do that because those blessed boxes have to be ticked, regardless of cost.

When we are still in a situation like this being dished up with more of the same, I have to ask myself  do I really know anything about Welsh food and what is happening out in Wales? Ten out of ten for wag’s cheek to state that they are supposedly taking note of the Food Festivals Seminar, the very seminar that wag couldn’t even be bothered to organise for the last two years, even though the Minister, Alun Davies has said that the Welsh Government are responsible for food festivals. I admire the organisers of the seminar for running it, but you’ve made a rod for festival organisers’ backs because wag food will never organise another one – despite their responsibilities. I’ve little idea of what went on at that seminar, but hope wag find it useful. Follows are some sectors for your interest: The decision has been made to operate an interim Food Festivals application process for 2014 – 15.  This will allow us to review plans for the future funding of Food Festivals and wider programme of food events beyond 2014 – 15 in line with the outcome of the consultation on the Food and Drink Action Plan, the 2013-14 Food Festival Evaluation and feedback from the recent Food Festivals Seminar.  Food Culture Grant Funding – Food Festivals – Business Plan Guidance The following points should be borne in mind when preparing your business plan, and will be used in the scoring of all applications. Promotion of Welsh Food Culture

  • Clear focus on Welsh food and drink  / supported by strong programme of associated events
    • Supporting a good range / quality of producers
    • Well established / growth potential
    • Supplemented by chefs demos / opportunities to showcase produce
    • Awareness raising of the event by promotional material/ Press/signage
    • Press, PR and marketing – budget identified/appropriate to the scale of event
    • Greater awareness of local food – championing local producers
    • Innovation

Benefit to Local Community

  • Educational or social function – building on benefits of fresh, local, quality produce.
    • Stimulating both the demand for local produce and the supply in the area
    • Community engagement/participation
    • Involvement of local businesses particularly hospitality sector
    • Cultural entertainment
    • Sense of Place

 

  • Local Economic Benefit
    • Community links and partner organisational engagement
    • Evidence of spend towards local economy e.g. wages / goods / services (accrue to the host community)
    • Economic impact on Producers
    • Creation of jobs
    • Sustainability
    • Building on the tourism offer / true food destination
    • Stimulates new enterprise and business growth
    • Other public and private sector investment leveraged

 

  • Meeting objectives / aims of the Welsh Government
    • Grow the sales of Welsh food and drink in the Tourism sector
    • Increase consumer confidence in, and awareness of the quality of food purchased in Wales
    • Increase sales of Welsh food and drink

The applications will be scored on the following elements in as explained in the criteria:

Evaluation Criteria Weighting
Number / % of Welsh food producers 20%
Supporting Welsh Government’s food   and drink objectives 20%
Business Plan 50%
Value For Money 10%

Food festivals are there to promote Welsh food and drink and Welsh food producers. Last year Welsh festival organisers are told to get 75% Welsh stands, yet that’s only worth 20% weighting – why is that? Why isn’t that worth more? Wag’s threat is that if organisers don’t have 75% Welsh stands then funding will not be paid, but how will this work in practice? How many festivals didn’t get their full funding last year, that didn’t comply with 75% Welsh stands because I passed full details to wag food of one that didn’t, that only made 50%. Ian and I didn’t get thanked for doing this work for wag food, needless to say we didn’t get paid either, but our time-consuming email didn’t get an acknowledgement either! But following our efforts, all festivals were them told by wag food to send in a full list of their exhibitors and where they came from!!!  So I still feel this appears to be an idle threat which I’m unsure wag can see through – as last year……………………………….. Press, PR and marketing – budget identified/appropriate to the scale of event. Obviously I have to declare self-interest on the advertising front, but this is another criteria that didn’t work last year and will surely not work this year either. Ian is regularly told by organisers that ‘there is no budget to advertise their festival’. Even though we are the foodie magazine across Wales, I don’t even get press releases from all funded festivals, a fact I hope is noted in the festival food evaluation, but if we cannot get advertising, then we have to accept that decision, that’s fair enough. I just require organisers to state clearly on paper to wag how they are going to market their festival. I’d also wish that producers  ask what marketing plan is in place BEFORE they book their stand. I’ll not listening to any moaning if you haven’t done that because the fault is then as much yours as the organisers!! Ian has now picked up that wag food is again this year asking for CVs for those directly included in management of activity. Isn’t this bureaucracy at it best? I cannot see the point in this but do wonder if wag insists that all funded money requests CVs…………………you sure couldn’t make this up could you? Another issue Ian raised was that 80% of stands must be food and drink. Well that certainly caused confusion last year with some festivals ditching craft stands altogether. Now my take on it is that crafts, if they are good quality, they can add to a festival and keep visitors there longer, which should mean they’ll spend more money!! But I do worry that this money is from the food budget and I would like craft stands to pay a fair amount for their stands.

 
 

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  1. Parrot

    February 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    You’ve hit the nail on the head again!
    It’s the same rubbish as last year. There’s no improvements that I can see, more of the same, ill thought through if wag have applied any thought at all.

    You’re having to highlight the same grey areas as you did last year – proof that wag cannot listen or grasp our/your points.
    Festivals running early are still left in a quandary because they cannot know if this up to £10k will be approved for them. How can they plan? Why should they have this same old worries year after year?
    Wag is totally clueless of the stress they put on so many volunteers. It’s bad enough if the council are running festivals but for many they are volunteers and I cannot understand why they put up with this to help their areas. They are amazing guys to do this job for wag. .

     
  2. Hey Ho

    February 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Well done Parrot you said much better than I’d have put it but what I feel
    It’s a pity we can’t elect civil servants,or at least find some guys to work on food that understand food in Wales.
    We’re being stupid if we really expect food matters to change here.
    Consultation should be lip service/tick boxes because most of us feel that’s what this is again.

     
  3. trader boy

    March 7, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Who’d be a festival organiser?
    They are treated like rubbish there’s no respect from wag to them