Food Festival Conference / Funding Update

16 Mar

Please don’t chase me for an update on wag’s food festival conference / get together which was to be held yesterday. I’ve been told, by someone was attending that is was postponed and will be held at a future date. I do apologise for not posting earlier but swamped with work at the moment and couldn’t rate this as a priority – sorry.

For those of you that are also a little behind, follows is my post that was posted on 1st March:

I’m still getting calls and emails asking about this year’s and I so wish people would either read welshfoodbites or ring the Welsh Government Food Department themselves. So at the risk of sounding very much like a stuck record – I do NOT know anything about wag food’s plans on food festival funding for this year and as I keep saying, if I did I’d tell our Best Of Welsh & Borders food producers by email and then post on welshfoodbites.

I have however been sent, not by wag food, but by two Welsh Country magazine supporters, details of a wag food meeting or conference, titled Food Festivals – Building on success – to be held in two weeks time.

I note from the draft outline of the day an item headed, ‘New Funding Scheme For 2017, which will cover, Management, Criteria, Guidelines, Timescales, Next Steps and a Q & A’. So I’m assuming the food festival organisers will then know where they stand for 2017. All I can say is it’s better late than never! I’m looking forward to a festival organiser giving me an update after this meeting as I certainly cannot rely on wag food telling me what’s happening, or if a press release is sent out whether I’ll get sent one.

Please excuse my further confusion at another item titled ‘Food Festival Co-Operation Project’ I’ve no idea what on earth this might be about, or how might work and I can hardly wait to find out – no really I can’t!!!!

I’ve lost count of the number of years I’ve been worried, concerned, annoyed, frustrated, cross, angry, gosh I could go on for ever. But the point is markets and food festivals are the life blood of many Welsh food and drink producers. They need to know early which festivals are running which of course in many instances is related in part to government funding. But year after years we are left waiting to find out what is happening, all because wag food cannot communicate to producers or the media. It seems in wag’s mind it’s not important that producers AND organisers know what is happening and as that seems to be the case, I might as well give up. There is nothing more frustrating than talking to, or at, ‘someone’ who is unable or unwilling to listen……………..


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  1. BOW

    March 21, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    What an absolute total shambles.
    Those poor organisers, it’s not fair.
    Just heard today that NHS are now going to look after whistle blowers now seeing that NHS people can see the problems in their job roles.
    Can we hope wag food might do the same with you? Take you into the fold and understand that what you’ve been saying on here since 2010 is correct and they are in the wrong
    I guess not as arrogance still rules the roost in wag

  2. BOW

    March 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I’m annoyed that Kath and a couple of producers were not allowed to this event but then to cancel it.
    How much did that cost? Guess lunch and venue would still have to be paid for – what a waste of our money
    You’d never run a business like wag food run their dept.

  3. admin

    March 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I don’t see welshfoodbites as whistle blowing, just a way of airing my views and producers’ views on various Welsh food and drink problems.

  4. admin

    March 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    I didn’t want an invite just to know it was happening and then to know it didn’t happen
    Thankfully others apart from wag food still do talk to me.

  5. BOW long timer

    March 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

    You’ve spent many fruitless years explaining to wag food the numerous areas where they’ve got things wrong. What I admire about you is that you keep on at them although they appear to have closed ears and closed minds. You constructively state the obvious to them be that festivals or markets and still keep us up with news although your sources now seem to be the grapevine you and Ian have created over the years! That’s stupid.
    I am astonished that wag food are so arrogant they cannot let you know what’s happening about the failed conference or the shin dig yesterday. Have they told you what happened there? I guess not. Fancy a press office refusing to answer questions from a journalist that runs the only magazine across Wales that covers Welsh food and drink in depth and is so supportive to producers.
    My take is madness rules wag food just wish they work with Welsh Country then you could tell your readers what wag food are doing and we’d get more support then as well.
    My decision to work with the magazine has paid off hugely and this site is a bonus. Brought about by wag food’s lack of support which I find totally funny, it’s my main news source of what’s happening apart from gossip at markets and Ian’s emails.
    thanks Kath
    you can come and work for me anytime!!!!!

  6. Jo

    March 24, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Publish Kath and stop messing around -publish what they’re doing in the magazine.
    Wag food have treated you badly – like a leper – so unfair when you’re trying to help them and us, if only they could see it. Wag food are out of touch and you should be on board to advise them. Wonder when people in that dept ever went to a market or a smaller food festival?
    Wag food need to understand not all companies want to export or go the supermarket route, but we can supply in Wales and the UK if transport costs are not too high.

  7. admin

    March 24, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Sorry to annoy you but I don’t see how being negative in Welsh Country magazine will help our readers or our producers.
    How wag food run their dept is their choice, not mine.
    I don’t recall seeing wag food people at markets or smaller festivals, but unless they were badged up I would not know then anyway.

  8. admin

    March 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

    I do feel I’ve wasted many fruitless years but at least I’ve tried to support our producers which is what we promise.
    If I am critical, which I often am, I always try and explain why and it’s from my point of view as a punter. If my views are not accepted – so be it, I tried and that’s all I can do.
    I keep saying when comments are critical of wag and wag food, that they are government and civil servants and can do as they wish. It’s up to them if they listen.
    It’s the grapevine that is telling me now what’s happening – I’ve heard nothing official about yesterday although I am aware a press release has been issued but not to WCM. Of course I’m not taking that personally, just find it pathetic.
    Of course many producers comment about welshfoodbites and you’re correct, I only created it when wag food were no longer with us as advertisers, couldn’t have done that before that as our promise is to support advertisers. So they had a bit of an own goal I guess!
    Thanks for the job offer ………………………………

  9. bow

    March 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Ironic isn’t it that it’s down to you to tell us a food conference was going ahead and then it was cancelled. Why?
    And why can’t wag food communicate?
    That dept. after all these years is actually getting worse. Who’d have guessed that was possible?
    Why are wag food so arrogant that they cannot be bothered to talk to us or the media?
    With this department I’m surprised anyone would run a food festival unless they are paid very well.
    How much did it cost to pay for the hotel, rooms and food that wasn’t needed?
    But why was it cancelled one speaker not able to attend? Or because taxpayers were still paying for it?
    It’s a shambles wag food, that is how I see it.

  10. bow

    March 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Stop this Kath, you’re getting nowhere with this bunch of civil servants
    It should be wag food or one of their quango minions to tell us what’s happening, not you.

  11. admin

    March 27, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I quite agree it should be wag food doing this but as they are not we are backing and helping our producers by airing various issues on welshfoodbites.

  12. admin

    March 27, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    You need to ask wag food directly.
    I wasn’t told by them of the conference or it’s cancellation.
    So no idea what’s going on – it’s nothing to do with me but grateful for those that put me in the loop.

  13. Producer

    March 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    You’re doing a great job, amazing in fact, wish I could say the same about wag food. What I think of them you wouldn’t allow me to say and it stay up on here!
    I struggle to understand how wag food can read this site for over 6 years and nothing sinks into their heads. Your posts cover so many issues and you give them solutions. The massive number of producer comments, there because we don’t have to put our names or companies, we’re safe. So many comments say wag food are arrogant and that can surely be the only reason this goes on and on. If wag food were running a business they’d never survive with ‘customer’ feedback like wag food get on here. They be bust in no time and rightly so.
    I wish I’d got your determination to carry on against wag food when they seem to live in another world to us.

  14. bow

    March 28, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Stop this Kath, wag food aren’t listening or can’t listen – either way it shows disrespect to us and you, which civil servants can do.
    We don’t vote them in and we can’t sack them despite my feeling that this department isn’t fit for purpose.
    Publish in Welsh Country Kath, you’d get your readers on side and they they might buy more from us at fairs and markets.

  15. Beer boy

    March 30, 2017 at 10:14 am

    This is the ongoing shambles that we know as wag food, that’s how I see it.
    Those poor festival organisers to be treated in such a way and then the cost to cancel it.
    I spoke recently to a producer who said they were a wag food ambassador. Didn’t know wag food had any, but assume Kath you’re one as well?
    What’s the point of having them if we don’t know about them?
    Wag food clueless again.

  16. Honey

    March 30, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Be great to know if this is happening now and when.
    Kath I bet wag food haven’t told you.

  17. admin

    March 30, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Wag food didn’t tell me it was happening or then when it was cancelled – good job my grapevine works.
    so no I don’t expect wag food to tell me if or when it is re-scheduled.

  18. admin

    March 30, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I only know of one food producer that is a wag food ambassador. I’ve no idea how it works and actually rather confused as to what it’s all about.
    But if I’m not told officially about these things and cannot ask the press office as banned for a second time of asking them questions I can only wonder…..well actually it doesn’t seem worth wasting time over does it? For me it’s another idea that I can’t see any value to.
    Just to confirm, for the record, I’m not a wag food ambassador but am an ambassador for Welsh Country magazine and for our Best Of Welsh & Border producers!

  19. Jo

    March 31, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Kath just publish 10% of what’s on here, show wag food to your readers as they really are.
    I’m amazed and stun this department can just ignore producers and writers like you.

  20. admin

    March 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    seems they can

  21. Cheese Man

    April 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    No sensible person would accept what has happened here, a conference arranged to be cancelled at the 11th hour. It’s not acceptable when funding was supposed to be aired. Who paid for this cancellation? Did it come out of wag food salaries? Sure it didn’t, the poor tax payer will have picked up the tab once again.
    I’m sorry but wag food are wrong for me.
    Is there funding for festivals or not this year?
    How can this department just ignore that so many people are volunteers running these festivals?
    Sure if there had been an update Kath would have said on here, if someone had told he. Know it wouldn’t be wag food. Without her we’d know nothing, which is what wag food seem to want.
    Treat us like mushrooms wag food, why should you worry about funding?

  22. bow

    April 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Food Festival Co-Operation Project what a joke that slot is/was.
    Wag food is expecting festivals to co-operate when they are incapable of doing so, or talking to us either.
    The debt this dept owe Kath and Ian for doing their job for them is impossible to calculate.

  23. Food producer

    April 3, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Comment from Beer Boy 30/3 talks about wag food ambassadors but I’m confused that I’ve never heard of them, or why there would be any. If no-one knows about them what is their point?
    Refuse to ask Kath to find out more but shows another wag food failing.

  24. Marc

    April 4, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Wag and wag food must be all over this site but have not learned much from it.
    That’s arrogance. For sure I feel that’s the case
    For goodness sake Kath publish much of what’s on here. Tell them wag press office have stopped you asking questions. Not sure your readers get how unfit for purpose this dept and government are.
    That’s my view and at least on here I can leave my views without the government blackballing my company.

  25. admin

    April 4, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Many of my readers are on as it’s always advertised in each issue of Welsh Country magazine.
    Stopping arrogance is not easy especially as wag control the cash!
    It’s the press office who have said for the second time I cannot ask them questions – so much for an open, transparent government here in Wales.
    But, as the press office are well aware, the Freedom of information is still open to me but that it time consuming and is more costly. Seems the press office are OK with my going that route as it’s not their money they are spending is it?

  26. Jodie

    April 6, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Isn’t Cowbridge running next month? Sure they’ve moved to May.
    What are wag food thinking not letting these guys know what funding, if any, they’re getting?
    How can they cope like this?
    It’s so disrespectful of wag food to behave in this way.
    Wag food and Visit Wales make such a song and dance about how food and drink are important to Wales and then treat organisers like they are the lowest of the low. It’s rude and unprofessional.
    I’m disgusted with this ongoing attitude from civil servants, if they’d to earn income from festivals it would be different. Aren’t stand prices likely to go up for us as festivals don’t know if funding is coming?

  27. Sandie

    April 6, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Food festival funding is the same shambles that wag food have always managed to make of it.
    Kath since you first started this site you have explained in detail but wag food go deaf on you, I think they don’t like hearing the truth, I can’t see it any other way.
    Wag food seem reluctant to change and improve this issue.
    Goodness knows how much has been spent over the years on festival evaluation, despite you doing it for wag food for free – but this is ridiculous, it’s stupid.
    In my mind this department is not fit to look after food and drink. Many companies would take you on board to help but wag food are too arrogant, they are beyond help.
    Publish about them PLEASE

  28. admin

    April 6, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Cowbridge is now in May and running this year from 28th – 29th.
    Not really sure wag food are ‘thinking’ but if they had to earn any of their income from festivals maybe their attitude would change, but who knows?
    As regards stand prices, each festival runs slightly differently – some I know are staying the same others having to be raised.
    It’s not an easy situation for any side and festivals have been lost because of this and not finding enough volunteers.
    It’s a tough one but so vital for Wales that it works!

  29. admin

    April 6, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I don’t need anyone taking me on board.
    I fight for Welsh food and drink festivals because some advertise with us, plus many of our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers attend them.
    It’s as simple as that. We help our advertisers, but on this, like in many other areas, I’ve failed.

  30. admin

    April 6, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Cowbridge is now in May and running this year from 28th – 29th.
    Not really sure wag food are ‘thinking’ but if they had to earn any of their income from festivals maybe their attitude would change, but who knows?
    As regards stand prices, each festival runs slightly differently – some I know are staying the same others having to be raised.
    It’s not an easy situation for any side and festivals have been lost because of this and not finding enough volunteers.
    It’s a tough one but so vital for Wales that it works!

  31. MR ANGRY

    April 10, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I’m angry. If truth be told I’m furious. Why do festivals not know if they are being funded and what the future for food festivals is in Wales. We are nearly mid April – Cowbridge runs next month. Visitors and locals should surely know what festivals are def. running.
    Incompetent is how I’d seriously class this department. I too want to know how much it cost to cancel this conference and why it was cancelled. Civil servants decided to take a holiday?
    It’s always easier and safer to ask Kath directly these questions. But this site has been running for about 6 -7 years and it’s clear Kath airs what’s wrong with wag food and then wag food block her every which way. As for a press office that will not allow a writer to ask questions, they are to me childish and pathetic, showing we are living in a Welsh dictatorship.
    Have we an open and transparent government? Well in my book we’ve not at all. In food and drink, object to anything wag food does or says at your peril. Kath knows this better than anyone, so her sin? Fighting tooth and nail for a better communication for producers and journalists. It makes me livid that wag food cannot accept that they’ve got much and still continue to get the same things wrong every year, but haven’t the common sense to use what Kath says and alter things. Other comments agree with me on this.
    I don’t believe Kath has it all right, because she still will not put much of this site in Welsh Country magazine. I’ll always argue with her about that – she’s wrong on that one.

  32. Ted

    April 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    It’s addictive and annoying coming on here in equal measure. But it shows perfectly that wag food has learned nothing. It still can’t/wont talk to producers or to the press. For my mind that’s stupid, it really is.
    There is so much on here that wag food should get, understand and act on, because the theory is they’re in charge.
    We’ve local elections in the offing, only wish we could elect a new food dept. All we’re asking is they read this site and act on it’s contents.
    Start with talking to us.


  33. BOW

    April 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Print the best of this site in Welsh Country. You owe wag food nothing but they sure owe you big time.
    Publish please ………Kath

  34. bow

    April 12, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I love this site.
    I get emails from Ian, but still enjoy coming on here, getting updates and Kath’s take on what is happening, or NOT with wag food.
    As this site’s been going a good 6 years, why haven’t wag food the sense to see you are really doing their dirty washing in public? Why can’t they sit around a table with you and Ian and iron things out for our benefit as well as yours? You two are the ones in touch with food and drink and they need to work with you.
    Like many others, I think you should still publish in the magazine too, but seems you’re ever hopeful wag food will change and grow up. Good luck on that Kath. I wish I could agree with you on that one, but I can’t.

  35. Jo

    April 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

    It’s appalling festival organisers had this meeting cancelled. What was the cost of this cancellation?
    So it’s now April and they don’t know if they get any funding
    Kath can’t publish a list of those that get funded in the magazine
    it’s pathetic of wag food and I can’t see why this has happened and no-one can be bothered to explain
    we don’t matter……
    Wag food in my take are hopeless.

  36. admin

    April 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I don’t look at it a washing wag food’s dirty washing in public I’m simply trying to highlight what is going on. Or not going on – all in the hope things will change.
    Wag food don’t have to react to this site because they are in charge of Welsh food and drink.
    Wag food don’t have to talk to Ian and I because they are in charge of Welsh food and drink.
    Wag food don’t have to believe we know anything useful to say because they are in charge of Welsh food and drink.
    Wag food don’t need to do anything with Ian and I or Welsh Country.
    Not sure I can make this situation any clearer, but that’s where we are.

  37. BOW

    April 24, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Who do wag food think they are?
    Still no news of festival funding
    It’s disgusting that they can treat us all this way

  38. admin

    April 24, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Wag food know who they are. They are the ones in charge and a with the budgets!!!
    I can only hope someone will see this is unacceptable on many levels for many people and that they tell food festival organisers what funding, if any, they are getting.
    I can do no more apart from admitting defeat yet again with wag food.
    Maybe best I give up………………………………….

  39. bow ted

    April 24, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Don’t give up Kath you are our food lifeline and the only one I know of brave or stupid enough to tell wag food they are wrong. That takes guts girl.
    Sad bit is wag food can’t or wont listen as arrogance rules in wag, it’s how I see it. They are arrogant.
    Things would not be as bad if wag had taken note of this site in 2010 as it is you are still going on about the same issues with wag food not able- shall I say to take notice and improve.
    Please never stop this site and I’ll stay with you on bow.

  40. admin

    April 25, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thanks for your support
    I’m sorry I’ve not been able to change for the better very much through wag food.
    But that will not stop me trying as the last 7 years shows.

  41. BOW

    April 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I’m just back from a market and instead of tackling paperwork work and bills I’m on here. oh dear
    This so makes me sick when wag food have the luxury of ignoring our views and blocking the person who has her interest at heart. Tell these festivals what they are getting it’s nearly May. Hope your wag food salaries are late.
    I’ve read arrogance so much on here relating to wag food, but they’re so arrogant they couldn’t care 2 hoots about us or Kath either.
    Publish in Welsh Country Kath there’s nothing left to do to but to air wag food’s washing in the magazine. food.

  42. bow

    April 26, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Coming into May you’d never believe that wag food can’t be bothered to tell festival organisers if they are getting funded or not. As you are always saying you couldn’t run a business like they run wag food.
    It’s a totally unfair, stupid system. You’ve been going on about it since you started this site years back.
    What is so difficult for wag food to understand they got it wrong AGAIN IF they can read this site?
    Wag food aren’t not working with us at all.
    Assume Kath any news you’ll email us with bow and put on here too?

  43. admin

    April 26, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Over the last few months I’ve heard so much unfounded gossip about festival funding and obviously cannot post about it as I can’t get anything confirmed through the press office as I’m not allowed to ask them questions………..
    I’ve heard the funding might be in the form of sponsorship but no idea how this will work or more to the point if it will work. I cannot understand how such a budget causes so much hassle for what are small amounts to festivals in the big wag scheme of funding.
    I’ve no idea how I’ll get accurate information on festival funding as the press office isn’t talking to me and unsure wag food will email me anything, they might have forgotten about me like the press office!
    If news does come through from any accurate source I will send it to all Bow and post it as well, but it must be accurate and not gossip.
    I could rely on wag food helping me out with this ongoing dilemma, but best not to hold my breath I think …………………………..

  44. foodie2

    April 26, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    I emailed (as the internet said they were in charge of Welsh Food promotion at the end of February, and asked a simple question on festival funding. I had the following response:- Thank you for your enquiry with regards to Food Festivals, we are not in a position to provide details of funded food festivals for 2017/18.
    Now as they are in charge of the funding, it makes you wonder what they are doing. Surely this should be worked out at least 8 months before the first festival? I have a sneaking suspicion that if they do not do anything, festivals will become self funding or not run, and that is no skin off their noses, just less work! But we pay them to do this, so what exactly are we paying for?
    At least Dick Turpin wore a mask!

  45. admin

    April 27, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Anyone reading this site will know how much time and effort Ian I and the team have put into food festivals. No-one can dispute that I’ve been asking wag food to sort food festival funding out in November for the following year. Of course that hasn’t been done but then- what do I know about food festivals in Wales?
    I’ve know idea who are and if they ARE responsible for festival funding they are doing a poor job IF they are actually doing anything. I also wonder what we are paying them for and gobsmacked wag and wag food cannot see how annoying this is for us.
    But as it’s now nearly May I can understand that they gave you that response the problem is no-one seems to know or care about food festival funding. Makes you want to give up trying to help – take a horse to water etc………
    yes Turpin did wear his mask which gave people a clue but think we know have got the message don’t expect too much from wag food and you will not be disappointed