Food and Drink Wales Industry Board

19 Dec

I’m still being asked what’s happening with the proposed Food & Drink Wales Industry Board. So here’s the story:

The interviews took place as the government promised, with the first meeting of the board scheduled for the 8th December. We understand that those interviewed are still waiting to be told if they’ve been successful, as the Welsh Government cancelled their first scheduled meeting.    

Apparently The Minister is still considering the proposal for Board membership, there is still some optimism, not quite sure where apart from government circles, that the Board will be announced early in the New Year with the first meeting held during January.

Well how do you sum this up? From my side I find it rather pathetic. You have hard-working business people who have take the time and trouble to apply for a board post, have gone along for an interview, then scheduled the 8th December in their busy diary – just in case they were successful, but now have to wait for a yes or a no sometime in the New Year.

However that is not all that concerns me. I’m also apprehensive as to how fair a representation of the Welsh food and drinks industry this board will actually be. Micros have expressed their lack of interest in this board because they simply haven’t time to put themselves forward. Although we have no idea who went forward for an interview, I’m sure there are few, if any micro producers; they simply haven’t the time to leave their businesses. This means that the micro sector, once more will be ignored, which wag food is so good at doing. My fear is that the board will comprise of Quangos and big businesses that are all more than capable of fighting their own corner. If any food funding is available, they’ll be the guys one the front row with their begging bowls held out.    

When more news comes through I’ll post an update, but meanwhile I can only hope that my fears are unfounded, but…………………



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  1. bow

    December 22, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I’m sure Kath you are right on this one too.
    It’s criminal the way wag food attack you – they don’t like you proving them wrong. But sadly they are most of the time and this is another classic example.
    Micro and smaller producers will again be overlooked or as always just ignored.
    Why this dept cannot see the growth potential in some micros companies is astonishing.
    This board will be another old boys club. They’ll make sure wag food looks after them and their specialist area.
    It will not be the first time that’s happened and sure wont be the last.
    I’m no expert but I don’t feel this dept is fit for purpose. We can moan and moan on here and no one in government will listen.
    Too arrogant for their own good and for the good of our industry.

  2. foodie 3

    December 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for telling us about this
    You’re the unpaid Welsh government food advisory service and we’d be lost without you.
    We know so little about this board, so we expect the worse from this lot and they don’t disappoint us on that level.
    Thanks for all your backing this year once more.

  3. trader

    December 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Wag are ticking another box but I cannot see how it will help the bulk of food producers, the grass roots of this industry
    those that always get gov, help will get it again.
    the rest of us can sink or swim and wag food will not give us a thought.


    January 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Happy New Year Kath. Thanks for all your support to food producers, despite the bullying you are getting from wag food. If they were capable of doing their jobs you’d have little to do! But it is time they recognise your hard graft and work with you which would help us even more. Why they cannot listen to you and Ian beats me it can only be arrogance.
    I have no hope of this board and can only see wag giving places to their favourites and it will all be big companies and Quangos.
    Micro businesses will not have a voice and this is one reason why this industry in Wales is so biased. Big boys win, just as they always have.

  5. Producer

    January 7, 2015 at 10:44 am

    If ever a Welsh industry need a trade union it is the food and drink producers.
    This board, as has been said will not even pay lip service to micro and small producers That is whenever the food dept. can find time to move it forward.
    We deserve a food dept that understands what we do snuggling in their glass towers and totally out-of-touch with what is going in on at markets and festivals is important, that is why Kath, Ian and their team win every time.
    You have many lessons to learn wag food and the easiest one is not to bully these guys because they know what’s going on and you don’t.
    They care about us and you don’t.
    They know what we need and you don’t.
    They visit markets and festivals and you don’t.
    They care about value for money and you don’t.
    They talk to us and you don’t.
    They email us on a regular basis and you don’t.
    I could carry on but you aren’t interested in us hence you bullying these good guys.
    You lot are pathetic not to be able to get what we need and when Kath tries to help you bully her which is so stupid.
    Working together things might improve for us but that is obviously me dreaming..

  6. Jo

    January 7, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I’m with producer who left comment today –
    I agree totally
    We haven’t got the food dept. we deserve or need, and sure many have said this before. It’s a common topic at our markets and festivals. We can’t get rid of them although so many of us think they are not fit for purpose. There’s nothing we can do, we are stuck.

  7. Foodie 2

    January 12, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Belated Happy new year Kath to you and the team.
    As always you’ve not only kept us up-to-date with what’s happening- doing wag food’s job for them yet again, but you’ve said what we are thinking, us micro producers will be ignored as we always are. It’ll be the big boys, those that are already well funded by wag food, those with their noses well in the trough.
    It’s sad, as you’ve have said so many times, that wag food aren’t capable of realising that some micro producers can and want to grow, but they cannot see that some of us have potential we just need a hand along the way.
    Sadly on wag food’s past performances, we know that will not happen, no-one can see the employment potential apart from your team.
    I don’t think this food team are fit for purpose, in fact I doubt they know how many food producers, of all sizes, that are trading in Wales. Yet they cannot work with your team, how stupid is that? They are an arrogant bunch and we pay not only their wages but the penalty of them not doing a good job.
    Instead they’ll keep throwing more money at fork 2 fork 2 for no obvious purpose.
    What a scandal

  8. Parrot

    January 12, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Thanks for you comment, we’ll catch up soon I’m sure.
    I’m surprised you hadn’t realised that I’m here to help wag food! But as said before, you cannot take a horse to water AND make it drink.
    Arrogant people sadly don’t realise they are arrogant but a pity it’s the producers that lose out.

  9. BOW

    January 13, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    As we head to the middle of January I note you have not been able to update us with who the government has thought worthy to take a place on THEIR board.
    No urgency at all for wag to get around to this job they’ve only kept many people waiting
    TYPICAL of wag and wag food
    just take your time guys we all know how busy you are and how unimportant this board of yours is.

  10. Bow

    January 16, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Still no announcement of which of wag’ puppets will be on this board which I initially thought was to be run by the industry itself. More government lip service and us in this industry are supposed to believe this food department are here to help us.
    That would be a very funny joke if the repercussions weren’t so serious.
    Eventually we’ll be told who is on this board as if us long-timers couldn’t guess who the deputy minister will appoint.
    Carry on wag food treating us like mushrooms

  11. trader

    January 20, 2015 at 11:42 am

    No urgency on this board then
    wag too busy to do as they promised
    in truth not many producers will be bothered as it will be wag favourites and micro producers as they always are will be ignored.
    Think is only Kath who can see any growth for some micro producers, but wag are blind to us. Of course all micro producers don’t want to grow, but those of us that do can carry on struggling or give up. Wag talk about a huge growth in food and that must mean trips abroad for them because they are not focusing on growth here in Wales or even the UK. Distribution is one of our issues, but wag couldn’t give a toss. Talk so Kath and she gets it but who would talk and help in wag food? Who is actually working there? And what are they doing apart from posh receptions,