Request For Information – Reference 8331

28 Apr

In March I sent a Freedom Of Information question through (FOI 8254) asking which food festivals did not adhere to wag food’s criteria and got a response as shown below. This I followed up by a further question asking how much these 3 festivals had had their funding reduced by and follows is the latest reply under FOI 8331:   

I wrote to you on 11 April 2014 following your request for information. In your request you asked for:

The amount by which the Mold; Abergavenny; and, Abergavenny Christmas Food Festivals had their funding reduced by.

I am enclosing the information which you requested which is as follows:

Mold Food Festival: £1170

Abergavenny Food Festival: £2000

Abergavenny Christmas Food Festival: £325.53

Request for Information – reference 8254

I wrote to you on 7th March 2014 following your request for information. In your request you asked for:

1).      As not all the 32 food festivals did not adhere to the Welsh Government’s criteria, please identify which festivals did not receive the amount the full amount of funding provisionally allocated by the Welsh Government.

2)       With 2013 being the first year the Welsh Government have implemented a ceiling of £10k in funding per festival, which festivals were able to access other government funding? Full details required.

 I am enclosing the information which you requested which is as follows.

 1)  Three Food Festivals for the funding period 2013/14 did not adhere to the criteria set for Welsh Food and Drink Producers, as a result they were penalised, the original approved funding offer was reduced pro-rata to the number of Welsh Food and Drink Producers attending. Those affected were:

  • Abergavenny Food Festival
  • Mold Food Festival
  • Abergavenny Christmas Food Festival

 2)    In 2013 the Major Events Unit; Economy, Science & Transport Department provided support towards specific elements outside of the Food Divisions remit to the following:

  • Pembrokeshire Fish Week (£21,000)  
  • Gwledd Conwy Feast (£25,000)

To be honest with you, I’m not sure that any of the three festivals mentioned would have had their funding reduced if Ian and I hadn’t queried with wag food that in our opinion Abergavenny Food festival hadn’t. We sent our working list through to wag food, we didn’t get an acknowledgement, no surprise there I guess and certainly not a thank-you, which I felt was rude.  But we did hear on our grapevine that shortly after our list was sent through, wag food did ask all funded festivals to submit a list of their tradestands and show which were Welsh.

In case any of you are concerned about the time scale, I must just remind you that FOI are allowed to take to 20 days to respond to each question. Please don’t ask me why two festivals get additional funding from the Major Events Unit because even if I could be bothered to ask I doubt the answer would be acceptable to me.


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  1. Producer

    April 29, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Well done Kath. It is good to see that if food festivals don’t obey Welsh Government rules then they will be penalised financially.

  2. cup cake

    April 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Would this have been clawed back if Kath hadn’t yet again raised this issue?
    I doubt it very much
    Have wag food thanked her and her team for their efforts?
    I doubt it very much.
    Abergavenny have been doing this for over a decade.
    Kath’s raised it so often because we moan at her when we are turned away or moved out into nearly the next county, whilst English stands have pride of place. Wag should not have allowed Abergavenny to ride rough shod over us for so many years when they were paying them so much money.
    It’s disgusting and disgraceful. Europe should have been told as wag ignore everyone else.
    But did wag worry about us? Of course they didn’t they are alright Jack
    10 out of 10 Kath. Such a lot of work over such a long time but you’ve been proved right once more and saved tax payers money.
    Pity that money didn’t then go to you, that would have helped in a small way for a lot of time and effort. But life in Welsh food was never fair and never will be with this lot running it.
    Well done, great job done but a job that should have been done by wag food!

  3. Benji7???

    April 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for lovely comments left to this post, at least you appreciate what we are trying to do.
    I would have thought wag food would have realised after all these years that Welsh Country has a VAT Number not a Charity Number – but even if the appreciated me/us being there unpaid food advisors it would be something but not holding breath.
    We must understand that it takes big people to acknowledge that things aren’t working well but in government it doesn’t seem to happen, their ignorance is bliss as long as they get paid by us for not working for us!! It’s a weird world in Welsh food.

  4. Jay

    April 29, 2014 at 11:45 am

    You doing their job for them as per usual.
    If you’d not done this, would the festival evaluation for last year, which we’ve again paid for, have picked this up. No bet not because they weren’t attending. This evaluation is so wag can tick Europe’s boxes, nothing more. Wag don’t seem to give a toss if our festivals improve or not, they don’t visit them do they?
    I think I only evaluation lot at Hay, well guess it was them, and they’d so many people there it was weird. Why visit Hay and nowhere else? How does that work? Are Hay special?
    It makes no sense, but as wag are in charge of festivals so it wouldn’t. We now understand this and it’s no credit to us that we accept it.
    We’ve come to expect their low standards, but as this is tax payers’ money this spend must be justified and verified.
    Why haven’t wag been on this case before as they’ve been funding festivals for years?
    Nothing makes sense here.

    Congrats Kath. You’ll get no praise from wag or the festivals you caught out but you will from us.

  5. trader

    April 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Another victory for Kath and her Welsh Country guys.
    None of us in food would hold our breath until wag say thanks, without you this would not have happened.
    You are a star.
    No wonder wag try and block you at every turn, you are exposing their failings year after year, it’s always the same failings, but wag cannot change anything- that’s too tough for them to do. They rather keep going in the same sad old way because if nothing improves we still get our pay cheque.
    I love it!!!

  6. trader

    May 2, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Well at least you care that taxpayers money is not wasted
    Why you have to be wag’s conscience is not on.
    Pity wag don’t make rules that we need though
    why do some of us get thrown out of festivals when we’ve supported them from the start? Where’s loyalty? But just lIke wag, loyalty is not rewarded
    Organisers need to think about producers more and not just take wag’s way of working and blackball some producer for no reason.
    This is how many of us earn a living for goodness sake

  7. J

    May 2, 2014 at 9:56 am

    If food festival money comes from Europe can’t our MEPs help sort this shambles out?

  8. Bo

    May 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Working together helping each other – that’s what wag food should be doing with Welsh Country
    I’m sure there isn’t another magazine going across Wales that devotes so much space to local food. My son is in pr and marketing in London. He thinks it’s totally obvious that these two should be working together and Welsh food would be the winner. He’d love to be doing pr in Welsh food and have this magazine to work with as his life would be so easy, a foodie audience already there.
    He wants to know if anyone in wag food is paid to do pr because he believes not or if so they’d not last in London.

  9. Benji7???

    May 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Your support is much appreciated when it feel like I’m banging my head constantly on this wag food wall.
    Part of our background has also been in PR & Marketing and I guess that’s why we get so irritated with wag food and the press office, and that’s without even trying to ‘look and work outside the box’.
    Please don’t hold your breath about wag food working with us, not saying the right things to them, noses the wrong colour, none of our relatives working there the reasons for not doing so are endless, but not agreeing with them is not what they wish to hear.
    I appreciate your son’s thoughts, working in London does keep you very much in the PR loop.

  10. trader

    May 28, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I’m not sure or confident that this money would have been clawed back or not given if Kath hadn’t been on the case
    She does so much good week after week for Welsh food and then wag disrespect her and the team for them basically doing their job for them.
    If ever there was time for change for wag, then it’s now. Unless they want us producer peasants to revolt now we have Kath and her guys on our side.