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.


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  1. BOW

    April 15, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for some positive news for a change Kath.
    It’s a pity we haven’t more Waitrose stores in Wales, but online is a great start. For them to have a Welsh buyer shows this is a group Wales should really be working with.

    I thought Levercliffe had been paid by wag food rather well for many, many years to get Welsh food and drink into supermarkets. Maybe their payments have been cut back due to the lack of progress they have made.

  2. Parrot

    April 15, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    I try not to MAKE the news just report it to you!
    Hopefully this can really grow for Welsh food and drink producers.
    It’s great news for a change.

  3. Mr T

    April 16, 2015 at 9:25 am

    You don’t often bring us good news but this sure is.
    Ocado or Poundand….not a tough choice. Hope more of us get accepted by Ocado.
    LIke you I wish we’d more Waitrose stores in Wales.
    I hope you can keep harrassing your contact at Aldi.

  4. Parrot

    April 16, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I understood that it was Levercliffe’s job to get Welsh food and drink, not mine but
    I’ll keep harrassing my contact and helping Levercliffe.

  5. BOW

    April 17, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Wow we are pleased to get some good news for once in Wales.
    Let’s hope more of us can get our products into them.

  6. Bo

    April 20, 2015 at 11:05 am

    I’m pleased you are keeping this site going as it’s the easiest way for us in the trade to find out what is happening. I can see no reason for you carrying this site on when all you get from the government is bullying. That’s a disgrace when you are once more doing their job for them, communicating with us.
    Those small minded civil servants need your help but haven’t got the guts to ask you and Ian to help them. Instead things get worse and worse.
    That the government cannot grasp the fact that you and Ian are two of the few people that understand our businesses and know what’s happening out here.

    Not bowing to wag’s bullying does you even more credit.
    but it’s tragic that wag hasn’t got a snippet of your common sense and knowledge. Producers trust you and wag haven’t got that and in my thought, never will have.
    Ocado is the way to market Welsh food and drink. I’ll try and get in there too.

  7. Parrot

    April 20, 2015 at 11:18 am

    The government are not obliged to listen to Ian or I. They will not do so when they think they are doing a good job for food and drink.
    The government only listen briefly before the elections and then that’s often it!

    It’s my choice to run this site and back our Best Of Welsh & Border producers. It’s what we promise our advertisers that we’ll help them in any way we can.
    Ironically it’s what we did for wag food when they were advertising with us……….
    Wag food will continue to do as they think best, we don’t elect them!
    Wag food obviously still don’t think communicating with producers is vital, we do, hence we talk to our BOW on a regular basis and through this site too.
    Many producers are saying the same things about wag food, but wag food believe they are right so sadly we have a stalemate and you are the ones missing out.

  8. Souper

    April 29, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Asda I understand ditched their Welsh buyer sometime in 2011/12.
    Tesco got rid of their Welsh buyer in 2013, replacing him with a buyer of a less senior grade.
    As all of Tesco’s head office staff have had the opportunity of taking redundancy their may be more changes ahead..

  9. Parrot

    April 30, 2015 at 8:23 am

    I wonder in the last 4 -5 years what action Levercliffe have taken to rectify these issue………………

  10. bow

    May 12, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Anyone know how much Levercliffe now get paid and what they’ve achieved in last five years?

  11. Parrot

    May 12, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    You could always ask wag food that question and best of luck getting it answered……

  12. foodie

    June 12, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Great news, but aren’t wag still paying Levelcliffe stacks of our cash to get Welsh food and drink into supermarkets?
    You can go into any supermarket and you’d have no idea you were in Wales, because there are few Welsh products available and then you have to search and search hard for them.
    Why is Levercliffe still being paid so well for doing in my view very little?
    Not all producers want to go the supermarket route, but those that do are not being helped whilst Levercliffe still get their big bucks.
    Do all supermarkets really want Levercliffe being paid as the middle man?

  13. Parrot

    June 12, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I’ve heard some supermarkets don’t want a thrid party input, but guess that will not alter wag food’s ‘thinking’ should they even be aware of this factor.