Archive for April, 2015

Still No News On Festival Funding

21 Apr

Please, please, please stop asking me for the list of food festivals that wag are funding this year. By now I would have thought you’d have realised that when I know, you’ll know! When that news is received I’ll inform our Best of Welsh & Borders producers and follow that with a post on welshfoodbites. So, like me you’ve no option but to be patient and wait for wag…………………

Your constant questions, plus news on my grapevine saying that the 1st tranche of festivals were being informed last Friday or by Monday 20th April. So I contacted the press office on Friday for an update.
Today I’ve now been told that they: ‘are currently in the process of completing the appraisal of the first tranche of applications. The list of supported Food Festivals will be published on our website after all applicants have been informed of the outcome’.

I went back to the press office asking various food festival related questions and have been told: ‘that Welsh Country and other media outlets will be sent the press release after all the applicants have been informed’.

It’s clear to many that Welsh Country has a huge interest in Welsh food and drink, I’m just not sure that other Welsh media can match us on that one! But I am sure ‘other Welsh media’ will not be interested in the questions I’m asking! So I shall have to submit a Freedom Of Information question and wait 20 days for a response, with luck.

In previous years I have been sent this information without any hassle from wag food, but now no longer for a reson only wag food know. It’s a huge pity wag and I can’t work together, without wag having to make everything such hard work. For goodness sake, I’m hardly asking questions of a sensitive nature……………….


Ocado Supporting Welsh Food & Drink

15 Apr

Not sure if you spotted an article in the Daily Mail yesterday about Ocado deciding it was about time they made more of the wonderful Welsh food and drink products that we have here. They have opened their website’s first dedicated Welsh shop. The site features more than 100 products, which in my view is a great start, but obviously is only showing a smallish selection. This is Ocado’s twelfth such speciality shop sitting alongside Thai, American, Irish and Scandinavian. The even better news on this story is that Ocado also has a Welsh buyer. I’ve heard some stories of late, though not confirmed officially that some of the major supermarkets have ditched their Welsh buyers.

Ian and I spoke on Saturday with a Regional Manager for Aldi and keep pushing him to get more Welsh products in store. I’ve even emailed him our Best Of Welsh & Borders listing in case he needs some assistance! He’s very keen on stocking Welsh food and drink, but in fairness, it’s not his decision. However that will not stop me pestering him every time I see him.

Of course this is a complex problem but such an obvious one that it must be a priority. Ultimately I’d throw this back at the government as one of their failures, but of course producers must too do more but as I say it’s a tough task. But Welsh products should be easily obtainable in Wales – first and foremost.

The classic which was demonstrated recently on television, what is a Welsh breakfast? If you are serving an ‘English’ breakfast in Wales, but have sourced all produce locally, then do make sure your guests know that. Thankfully many of our advertisers our shouting that the food they’re serving is Welsh, but there are still far too many who still haven’t thought about changing their service practice. My view, for what it’s worth is that if can’t be bothered doing that, then don’t be surprised if visitors travel to Scotland or Ireland for their breakfast and cultural experiences.

We cannot keep ignoring the situation of supermarkets, or our hospitality sector. Just because this is a mammoth task, doesn’t mean we should swerve it. Many small efforts are needed from everyone. Change must happen and the sooner the better to give our Welsh food and drink producers a boost.

Tell me of your experiences, good or bad, but more importantly, how you would improve things.