Food Festival Funding For 2014

11 Apr

I’ve no idea how many times I’ve asked for this listing from the wag food press office, but having chased again on Wednesday, have today received the following response:

We’re aiming for June.

Well that’s useful isn’t it? Wag food are aiming for June, well wowee!!! But with their track record to date, do you know if their ‘aim’ is good or not? I’m sure it is not relevant to wag food that for those of us in the real world, June is halfway through the year.

On a serious level, I can only feel sorry for Welsh food festival organisers, especially those that are running early. I know how some of them are feeling about this situation, because they tell me. They can hardly have-a-go at wag food when they want funding from them can they?  I think this situation is disgraceful and totally unfair and it goes on year after year after year. Wag food don’t deserve the loyal band of organisers that they have. Many of them are volunteers and as much as I love food festivals, I have to ask, is it really worth it worth it for them?  Of course they are doing it for their communities, but the needless stress wag food put them under is beyond my comprehension.

But don’t forget that wag food say Welsh food and drink is important to them and Wales.

There surely is no doubt

But don’t forget that wag food say Welsh food and drink is important to them and to Wales!!

There surely is no doubt that you couldn’t run a business like this…………………………………


I’ve now had the following revelation from the press office – apparently their response to me is correct, the list will be available in June – no date given of course, because that would come under being helpful. But as in previous years, food festivals organisers  will be told ahead of this.

I have never been told wag food when they’ll be informing the festival organisers, because again, that would come under the banner of wag food being helpful to me wouldn’t it? I’ve just spent a great deal of time, once again this year, trying to get some basic information, information that people are asking about. I didn’t realise when talking to organisers that I should have thought to ask them when they were told by wag of their funding – well silly me. But this year a couple of organisers  have told me they’ve been given different dates by wag food when they be notified about funding. So once again this food festival funding is as clear as mud. Who cares? Well not the press office and seemingly not wag food either – this is such a waste of everyone’s time.

I’m fed-up of saying that we are trying to help wag food, that message has not got through. In the big scheme of things, it really doesn’t concern our business when the food festival list comes out, because I’m not and would not run food festival. However it matters to our organisers and to our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers and we promise them all we’ll support them. Stupidly, I didn’t realise when making that promise, how difficult it would be with wag food’s lack of communication and being forced to go through the press office.

I’ve also been told, again by an organiser, that there is an unofficial copy of Wavehill’s 2013 food festival evaluation in circulation. However I’ve also been told by the press office that this report will not go on their website until end of April. Well if you’ll excuse my saying, it looks like there’s a ‘mole’ in wag food as well as in Welsh Country – but sadly this wag mole hasn’t bothered to send a copy to me. In fact I’ve not had information sent in brown envelopes for some time, though I’m not sure why.

I’ll say again you could NOT run a business like this……………………………






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  1. Foodie

    April 13, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    I really feel for the organisers of these festivals. Surely they knew that this would be needing to be addressed again this year, it is not exactly a new idea! This should have been worked on at the latest last year, so the figures were available in January.
    Just the cynic in me, but is it possible that WAG will look at the festivals that go ahead without the assurance of any assistance, and then say “look, you did not need out help”!

  2. producer

    April 15, 2014 at 9:49 am

    For goodness sake wag get a grip on this – wake-up
    You’ve had years to sort festivals out but the same problems keep cropping up
    Actually you’ve done little that’s positive apart from continuing creating confusion.
    Why Kath bothers with the press office is stupid, it’s pointless, totally pointless, she’s not being helped or assisted by them at all. Is it too difficult to understand that Welsh Country are supporting Welsh food and us producers? If you don’t like answering questions don’t work in a press office or be a politician.
    Goodness knows where wag food would be if Welsh Country was a newspaper, that would be a revelation to the Welsh public.
    If the new chap is happy with this situation then maybe he’s not the new broom that we’d hope would sweep all the past rubbish away and give us hope for the future.

  3. Benji7???

    April 15, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for leaving a comment. You’re agreeing with the feedback we are still getting in.
    I’m bitterly disappointed that many festivals and markets are still struggling. As you say it’s much the same. Criteria are there but not as effective as we need and not convinced they are being followed through. Festivals need support, practical as well as financial, it’s as basic as that in my view.
    Kath ‘bothers’ with the press office because no-one in the food department is allowed/prepared to talk to her either on the hone or on email, – her preferred method of communicating!!!
    I’ve no idea how the new man is feeling about his role but I do have sympathy with him because his department does need an overhaul. It also can’t be easy to be the new boss, into the civil service with all their rules, regulations and red-tape when he’s a business man.
    Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but just don’t know what else to try, although giving up has a strong appeal, but that would mean admitting defeat which is hard to do when I’m convinced I’m right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Jay

    April 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    We’re halfway through April and still no notification of which festivals wag are funding
    which means that local people and visitors haven’t a clue either.
    Food and tourism important to Wales? Well our AMs and civil servants pay lip service to both those sectors but there’s little follow through. Kath’s right you couldn’t run a business like this.
    But at least they are guaranteed a salary cheque at the end of each month, not a luxury we all have.
    It’s difficult to believe that these people cannot take on board what a mess festivals are.
    Who’s got this evaluation report should send it to Kath because she’ll wait a long time until wag food or press office send it to her.
    If it’s true how could Wavehill or wag have let it happen?

  5. producer

    April 15, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Wag food don’t seem to be running their department for us, if they were, they’d know that we are not happy with the little they are doing.
    We complain about the same old problems, but we’ve not the guts to speak to wag directly, far too many of us have suffered in the past from doing this. Instead we take the easier option for us, and instead we load it onto Kath. She always says she’ll back us, IF she agrees with us, and then tries to sort things out for us. We’ve a new food regime apparently, not that we’ve been told that officially, as wag still can’t talk to us, but now Kath’s can’t talk to wag, she has to use the press office, which are not being much use to her.
    It’s beyond my comprehension why these 3 parties can’t work together. In fact if wag and Kath could help each other, the press office could take a rest, whilst we get some answers.
    Talk is good, talk is lacking in wag food, but they haven’t got that message. Reading in wag is not good either as this site should give them lots of food for thought.

  6. beer boy

    April 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Food producers need a recognised union to deal with wag food.
    It’s the only way I can see that we can make sure that wag food will listen to us.
    It seems the Quangos have wag’s ear and their pocket, but we sure haven’t.
    Anyone know how many food related Quangos wag food supports?
    Think the food industry and the Welsh public would love to know that and how much money is thrown at them each year.

  7. Benji7???

    April 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I suggest you ask one of your Assembly Members how many food related Quangos there are and how much they cost us.
    I know if I do that for you I’ll be pushed around in circles yet again…………………..
    Plus I don’t think you’ll appreciate the answers.

  8. Producer

    April 17, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I rarely leave a comment but read this site a few times a week. But I’m leaving a comment now only because I agree in total with what has been said, I’m lazy not to comment even when I’m in agreement with many comments left.I’m furious that wag can’t or wont listen to us.
    What’s wrong with them?
    Those poor organisers, under needless pressure, thanks to wag.
    You couldn’t not run a business in this manner, not that many civil servants will have ever worked in the real world where they have to produce and sell something to feed their kids and pay their mortgage.
    Reality check is used a lot, but it’s never more apt than with this department.
    Things need to change and maybe we need to get a union to help us.

  9. trader

    April 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    If you can’t improve this festival foolery then a union is a good idea and I think more producers talking or emailing their AM’s, excluding the Labour lot of course, but that still leaves plenty and sure some producers will make that effort after all you have done.
    I’ve never seen such a mess and uncertainty, but if we as food guys don’t take some action ourselves then we’ll have to put up with this rubbish for another 10 years.

  10. cheeseman

    April 22, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I rarely disagree with you, either face-to-face on the phone or on here. BUT why you are pinning your hopes on the new guy when you are still being pushed around by his department and that shambles of a press office? It doesn’t make sense.
    He might not be a civil servant that’s been promoted to a job he’s not capable of doing, but he’s no more use to you than a chocolate teapot. He’s not sorted out festivals, markets, fork2fork and PPD. We are in a bigger mess than ever. As I’ve told you before, you’re wasting your time and money.
    You have to be a big person, especially if you’re a civil servant, to be able to understand and ADMIT that this department is not working – STILL. But that’ll that will ever happen. They’ll never admit they are wrong or even could do better.
    They are NOT going to listen and accept your advice and suggestions for change. You’ve been going at them long enough to know the food department is a lost cause – just accept it.
    You must be gutted that the new man you’d such high hopes for is not coming through, but I cannot see how you can do anything else to wake them up. They are so out-of-touch they can’t get up to the standards you require.
    You and Ian are the ones on the ground with the support of many, many producers and festival organisers, those people talk to you but you are failing to get their worries and fears accepted by wag food.

  11. Benji7???

    April 22, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I don’t mind people disagreeing with me if they are constructive and factually correct.
    I’ve had to pin my hopes of the new guy because what other option was there? Plus he deserves a chance, as I’ve said so many times before. You can’t write a person off without giving them some time to change things. Now I can’t see any improvements from my side, in fact it’s a whole lot worse and yes I’m gutted and also furious about the amount of time, effort and energy we are wasting and getting nowhere. It’s frustrating and pointless.
    But you’re wrong expecting him to change fork2fork and PPD, he’s not responsible for Supply Change ES.
    I understand that getting civil servants to understand they are often wrong and should do much better is a lost cause, but do you really expect me to give up trying? We have promised our producers and food advertisers in general, our support and that’s what we’ll give, regardless that it feels like I’m being blocked whichever way I go. If I’ve to use more AM’s and then more FOIs’ then so be it, but surely the sensible, grown-up way is to talk to each other………………………..

  12. producer

    April 22, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Food festival funding – this is another of wag food’s food farces and my word they make a lot of them.
    It’s so pathetic that there’s no official list out as to which are being funded and how much they are getting
    pity a department can’t be sacked but an even greater pity they can’t accept what a shambles they make of festivals every year.
    those poor organisers and producers who have to plan their year.

  13. foodie

    April 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

    You couldn’t run a business like this department. That’s what K comes out with and she’s right. Don’t give up, you are right and that department is wrong on so many levels.
    Wish we could have a total change there because it’s so needed.
    It’s the end of April and there’s no official list of festivals that are going ahead this year.
    Why isn’t Europe told about this as it’s their money?
    Why should we accept a poor department when it’s our livelihood?
    Why don’t we shame our food department to try and get change?
    Sure some MEP’s would be interested in this mess.

  14. foodie 2

    April 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Cheeseman don’t dare have a go at Kath unless you are talking to wag food and your AM’s and telling them the problems we are having year after year. I bet YOU are doing nothing constructive on our/your own behalf. Kath is and always has done along with the rest of their team. Fighting our battles.
    I don’t know any other Welsh media that challenges the government and the food department. But they don’t appreciate what she’s doing and where she’s coming from, it takes brains and guts to do that.
    I think you are being unfair and wished you’d put your name on here, because it isn’t her job to fight our corner. There’s no way she should be treated like she is by wag and their press office, it’s not fair and it’s not right and I think it’s back to the bullying once more.

  15. trader

    April 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    No dates until June, how pathetic is that?
    Why waste your time with the press people they are not on your side. If they can make your life difficult they sure will.
    Oh if only we working in food were all on the same side as the food dept, for they sure aren’t on our side.

  16. trader

    April 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    All these comments and still wag food totally ignore us, the people that they are supposed to be supporting
    I think it’s a disgraceful that they can be allowed to blank us out and pretend we don’t exist
    I can’t use the language and adjectives I’d prefer in case Kath takes my comment down, but this department is not working, not for us, not for Wales.