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Archive for June, 2014

Changes To Food Hall At RWAS

25 Jun

I’ve kindly been sent by a couple of helpful Best Of Welsh & Border producers some news from Wag food about the RWAS food hall. I suppose there’s no need to tell you that wag food haven’t bothered to send it to me, do you think wag food think I’ve now lost interest in Welsh food and drink? In the interests of saving your time, I’m not posting all of it, but thought this portion at might be of some interest, or at least raise a smile or two for those of you not attending the RWAS.

Wales is home to a dynamic food and drink industry, with businesses ranging from the micro, artisan businesses through a range of SMEs to larger food companies , some of which have manufacturing sites in Wales but strategic headquarters elsewhere in the UK, Ireland or overseas.

Communication of the Action Plan at the RWS Food Hall 2014

These priorities  will be communicated very clearly to the consumer audience at this years Royal Welsh Show, the Food hall will not only be a retail area, but an area to educate and inform the consumer of the importance of food to the Welsh economy, Education, Jobs, Growth and Wealth.  It is imperative for you to understand these changes and to understand why the changes have taken place within the Food Hall this year.

Changes to the management of the Food Hall this year

You will have already experienced the changes on the Management and the recruitment of the Food Producers which is now the responsibility of the RWAS.  For the first time this year the Food Hall will have a Food Demonstration kitchen area in the rear of the Food Hall, in a marquee, and a trade development area in the upper room to the Food Hall – these new areas will be managed by our appointed contractor Menter a Busnes. 

WG will have responsibility for the meeting rooms in the upstairs area and will hold several business meetings with Ministers and key influential trade buyers in the industry.

Food and Drink Wales

Wales has the food personality and interest to attract both trade and consumer investment while its ‘hero clusters’ made up of farmers and food manufacturers add to a unique offering that is Wales.

Food and Drink Wales is an overarching identity which has been successfully trialled in UK and International exhibitions. It relies on simple imagery and messaging which continues to evolve and will be further refined under professional guidance.  The identity will be in evidence in the Food Hall.

Changes To The Food Hall At RWAS

The few points underlined raised my interest for sure. We are all aware of many businesses saying they are Welsh companies and that have strategic headquarters elsewhere in the UK, Ireland or overseas 

Communication of the Food Action Plan

These priorities  will be communicated very clearly to the consumer audience at this years Royal Welsh Show As wag food struggle to communicate to its food producers, I shall be intrigued to see how they and the RWAS manage to achieve communication to the consumer audience. In fact I would be delighted to hear how many of the Welsh public have heard about, let alone understand anything about the Food Action Plan. Are the Welsh public even aware that the last one was scrapped early because it wasn’t working?  

Changes to the management of the Food Hall this year

For the first time this year the Food Hall will have a Food Demonstration kitchen area in the rear of the Food Hall, in a marquee, well in my view this is as clear as mud, it’s badly written and confusing for those that have no idea what the food hall is like at RWAS. It says for the first time this year the food hall will have a kitchen demo area in the rear of the hall, where is usually is, but continues with in a marquee. I’m told, but again not by wag or RWAS, that there’s now a marquee this year so actually it’s the marquee that is there for the first time and I guess it’s the marquee that’s attached to the food hall. I think wag  mean to say that for the first time this year the food hall is being extended with a marquee at the rear of the food hall and this is where the food demonstration kitchen area will be sited.  Communication is still the key wag food…………………………

Food and Drink Wales

Wales has the food personality and interest to attract both trade and consumer investment while its ‘hero clusters’ made up of farmers and food manufacturers add to a unique offering that is Wales. Food and Drink Wales is an overarching identity which has been successfully trialled in UK and International exhibitions.

Oh dear what am I missing? Wales has food personality. I thought it was people that had personalities, but seemingly not just people, but seemingly in government speak, Welsh food has a personality. Is it just me that doesn’t understand how any food can have a personality? However food having a personality was then beaten into the top slot with the statement that Food and Drink Wales is an ‘overarching identity’!

I’ve been telling wag food, for too many years, that they need to communicate; well if proof were needed, here it is and I stand by that. Communication is the key but not with jargon, mumbo jumbo speak like this. Perhaps as this was sent out to producers attending the RWAS some of them might be kind enough to translate all this wag news for me when I next see them, here’s hoping – but once again, not holding my breath………………….

 
 

Heart of England Fine Foods

18 Jun

Heart of England Fine Foods In Trouble

Although not Wales I thought you be interested about this latest news.

Heart Of England Fine Food (HEFF), a company that promotes food and drink in the west Midlands region has taken steps to go into voluntary liquidation.

HEFF says that it has created and safeguarded more than 2,000 jobs since it was set up with government money to support small firms and other enterprises in 1998. HEFF said the news followed the loss of a contract with Shropshire Council three years early and slow trading. The contract was for managing the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre, which promotes local food.

Whilst Shropshire Council said a review found it was “paying an excessive amount of money”. A scheduled management review by an independent consultant had found “room for improvement”.

HEFF said its current situation was also due to funding, initially allocated in January, “not materialising” from government department UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to support HEFF’s international work.

In a statement, the firm said: “Despite valiant efforts we have been unable to secure any additional sources of income from either the public or private sector. We believe the government is short-sighted in not recognising the added value HEFF brings to the food and drink industry and the contribution made to the economy through its activities. Whilst the immediate job losses at HEFF will be 15, the knock-on effect is likely to see hundreds of jobs within small businesses put at risk.”

The company said “even at this late stage” it was hopeful a solution may be found before a meeting for shareholders on 9 July.

It is disappointing to hear this news, the loss of 15 jobs and then the knock-on effect cannot be underestimated.

 
 

The Shed, Porthgain, Pembrokeshire

10 Jun

I’d just love to remind any of you that haven’t found this fabulous fish restaurant to please give it a try sometime. We called with friends on Saturday, hadn’t booked and although quite busy, we were found a table upstairs and thoroughly spoilt.

Their food was as good as ever, batter light and crispy, Pembrokeshire potatoes making super, ‘proper’ chips, their own tartare sauce and wonderful mushy peas. Our lunch was absolutely amazing.

Friendly, helpful staff only made our lunch even better!

Please check The Shed out on the web for their full menu, and to play safe, don’t do as I do, make a booking. I am sure you’ll love it!