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Posts Tagged ‘food festivals’

Wag Wind Turbine Scrapped

14 Jul

Apologies that this post is not food related, but as it’s tax-payer money related, I’m assuming you would be interested. A wind turbine, sited outside the Welsh Government offices at Aberystwyth and cost us nearly £50,000 has been scrapped. The civil servants were warned that the 60ft turbine, which was erected in 2009, was being placed in the wrong location, the civil servants were informed that the wag site was in too sheltered a site and would not get sufficient wind. Despite this advice and not looking for a site just down the road, nearer to the coastline of blustery Cardigan Bay, the civil servants decided to site it instead in a sheltered valley, with tall buildings and hills all around it.

I’d have thought that commonsense would have told these decision makers that wind turbines need wind from all directions before they can even be classed as efficient in producing electricity. Revelations show that the turbine was producing on average just 33 kilowatts of energy a month, the equivalent of just £5.28 worth of electricity. If you work off those figures, the turbine would need to be in place for over 750 years before its cost was offset!

As the wind turbine’s performance was monitored from January 2012 until July 2013, finding it generated just 33 kilowatts per month, these figures should be accurate. The turbine broke down in January this year and the manufacturer went into administration soon after that. I now understand that the government don’t believe they can find a company who would be able to take on the maintenance of the turbine so are now looking at options for its removal.

So as this is my food blog, I cannot end this post without equating this nearly £50k spend back to Welsh food and drink. This could have helped five food festivals at the top rate of £10k per festival or could easily have paid for CLES/Wavehill to review food festivals for the next two years. This is our money that’s been wasted, but will any civil servant be taken to task over it? Answers on a post card please…………………..

 
 

Food Festival Application Forms 2014 -2015 Forms for 2014

25 Feb

Huge thanks to the kind person who called in yesterday, Monday 24th asking if I knew the food festival funding forms had been sent out that day. There were huge giggles from both of us realising that was such a silly question, wag food send me some information that they’d know would be of interest to me and followers on welshfoodbites, oh please………………….

Co-operating, working together, helping each other, making life easier, stopping wasting my time, but reality check, this is wag food we are talking about. I’m aware wag food are not fans of this site and I can understand that as I’m often taking them to task. But they know the support we have and give to our Best Of Welsh & Border producers, most of the complaints and grumbles come directly from them. But wouldn’t a better attitude be for them to address the many issues that are raised year after year?

Anyway back to this post, my caller then sent me the forms through so many thanks. This was followed within an hour by another supporter asking if I had got the funding forms through. So thanks guys, pleased as always that you are talking to me. I don’t mind at all if I get twenty emailed copies of the same thing, better that than be left in the dark by wag food and the press office. Communication is after all the key, well in my world it is. I’ve not copied all the forms out as kill a tree comes to mind, just look again at last year’s and you’ll be virtually up-to-date. I’m not pleased that there are so few changes from last year, because in my view last year’s criteria didn’t work. Maybe in that case it would have been better not doing a food festival evaluation last year, save some much needed money, but wag can’t do that because those blessed boxes have to be ticked, regardless of cost.

When we are still in a situation like this being dished up with more of the same, I have to ask myself  do I really know anything about Welsh food and what is happening out in Wales? Ten out of ten for wag’s cheek to state that they are supposedly taking note of the Food Festivals Seminar, the very seminar that wag couldn’t even be bothered to organise for the last two years, even though the Minister, Alun Davies has said that the Welsh Government are responsible for food festivals. I admire the organisers of the seminar for running it, but you’ve made a rod for festival organisers’ backs because wag food will never organise another one – despite their responsibilities. I’ve little idea of what went on at that seminar, but hope wag find it useful. Follows are some sectors for your interest: The decision has been made to operate an interim Food Festivals application process for 2014 – 15.  This will allow us to review plans for the future funding of Food Festivals and wider programme of food events beyond 2014 – 15 in line with the outcome of the consultation on the Food and Drink Action Plan, the 2013-14 Food Festival Evaluation and feedback from the recent Food Festivals Seminar.  Food Culture Grant Funding – Food Festivals – Business Plan Guidance The following points should be borne in mind when preparing your business plan, and will be used in the scoring of all applications. Promotion of Welsh Food Culture

  • Clear focus on Welsh food and drink  / supported by strong programme of associated events
    • Supporting a good range / quality of producers
    • Well established / growth potential
    • Supplemented by chefs demos / opportunities to showcase produce
    • Awareness raising of the event by promotional material/ Press/signage
    • Press, PR and marketing – budget identified/appropriate to the scale of event
    • Greater awareness of local food – championing local producers
    • Innovation

Benefit to Local Community

  • Educational or social function – building on benefits of fresh, local, quality produce.
    • Stimulating both the demand for local produce and the supply in the area
    • Community engagement/participation
    • Involvement of local businesses particularly hospitality sector
    • Cultural entertainment
    • Sense of Place

 

  • Local Economic Benefit
    • Community links and partner organisational engagement
    • Evidence of spend towards local economy e.g. wages / goods / services (accrue to the host community)
    • Economic impact on Producers
    • Creation of jobs
    • Sustainability
    • Building on the tourism offer / true food destination
    • Stimulates new enterprise and business growth
    • Other public and private sector investment leveraged

 

  • Meeting objectives / aims of the Welsh Government
    • Grow the sales of Welsh food and drink in the Tourism sector
    • Increase consumer confidence in, and awareness of the quality of food purchased in Wales
    • Increase sales of Welsh food and drink

The applications will be scored on the following elements in as explained in the criteria:

Evaluation Criteria Weighting
Number / % of Welsh food producers 20%
Supporting Welsh Government’s food   and drink objectives 20%
Business Plan 50%
Value For Money 10%

Food festivals are there to promote Welsh food and drink and Welsh food producers. Last year Welsh festival organisers are told to get 75% Welsh stands, yet that’s only worth 20% weighting – why is that? Why isn’t that worth more? Wag’s threat is that if organisers don’t have 75% Welsh stands then funding will not be paid, but how will this work in practice? How many festivals didn’t get their full funding last year, that didn’t comply with 75% Welsh stands because I passed full details to wag food of one that didn’t, that only made 50%. Ian and I didn’t get thanked for doing this work for wag food, needless to say we didn’t get paid either, but our time-consuming email didn’t get an acknowledgement either! But following our efforts, all festivals were them told by wag food to send in a full list of their exhibitors and where they came from!!!  So I still feel this appears to be an idle threat which I’m unsure wag can see through – as last year……………………………….. Press, PR and marketing – budget identified/appropriate to the scale of event. Obviously I have to declare self-interest on the advertising front, but this is another criteria that didn’t work last year and will surely not work this year either. Ian is regularly told by organisers that ‘there is no budget to advertise their festival’. Even though we are the foodie magazine across Wales, I don’t even get press releases from all funded festivals, a fact I hope is noted in the festival food evaluation, but if we cannot get advertising, then we have to accept that decision, that’s fair enough. I just require organisers to state clearly on paper to wag how they are going to market their festival. I’d also wish that producers  ask what marketing plan is in place BEFORE they book their stand. I’ll not listening to any moaning if you haven’t done that because the fault is then as much yours as the organisers!! Ian has now picked up that wag food is again this year asking for CVs for those directly included in management of activity. Isn’t this bureaucracy at it best? I cannot see the point in this but do wonder if wag insists that all funded money requests CVs…………………you sure couldn’t make this up could you? Another issue Ian raised was that 80% of stands must be food and drink. Well that certainly caused confusion last year with some festivals ditching craft stands altogether. Now my take on it is that crafts, if they are good quality, they can add to a festival and keep visitors there longer, which should mean they’ll spend more money!! But I do worry that this money is from the food budget and I would like craft stands to pay a fair amount for their stands.

 
 

No Update On Food Festivals

03 Feb

Short of something to do – I think not – I asked the Press Office once on 13th January when CLES/Wavehill festival evaluation will be available to me and then when I can expect an official statement as to when the Minister will announce about food festival funding for 2014? I didn’t get a reply, so asked AGAIN on 28th January and today got the following official response:

A Welsh Government spokesperson said:

“There is no consultation on food festivals planned. Our consultation on the draft Action Plan for Food and Drink is ongoing and an independent evaluation of the support we give to food festivals is also underway. We will make an announcement on funding for food festivals once we have considered both these pieces of work.”

Well, as always, this response is pointless and unhelpful. I’m not given a clue as to ‘when’ they will have considered both these pieces of work, and made any decisions. Welsh food and drink are supposed to be important to Wales but that is not the impression this statement gives me. But it was ever thus with our food department.  In theory they know what they are doing, though many of you, like me, will dispute that, so our only option is for us to just wait and wait and wait………………….

The only positive food news so far today is that I’ve been told by a helpful festival organiser that applications for food festivals have now been sent out by wag. Well I guess that’s something, and it’s certainly better late than never, even though these hard-working organisers still haven’t a clue as to whether they’ll get funding or not this year. But that’s not a worry for wag food.

 
 

Food Festival Funding 2014

22 Oct

One of my regular questions is when will a decision be made about food festival funding for 2014. The problem is trying to get an answer!!! Although I’m not going to stop asking this question, follows is yesterday’s response:

 A Welsh Government spokesperson said:

“We are not yet in a position to comment on food festival funding in 2014.”

I went back and asked when they’d ‘be in a position to comment’ to be told:

I don’t think that information is available yet.

Well bully for wag. Not only can’t they answer the question they cannot or will not even give me a timeline on it. So as I have little ‘proper paid-for work’ to do here, I guess my only option is that I’ll keep chasing them for a response. Meanwhile I can only say sorry for those organisers whose festivals are hopefully running early next year but I’ve done my best. My suggestion would be that those organisers email or phone your Assembly Members and put pressure on them to get this matter out in the open for once.

I am cross and utterly fed-up of going over the same issues with wag food year after year with few improvements being made. I fail to understand why wag cannot accept that the bulk of their work is meaningless, worthless and to top it all – it’s expensive. Is it too difficult for their civil servants, working in their glass offices, to put themselves in the position of a festival organiser, particularly a festival running in April, May or June next year? Why would an organiser gamble as to whether they will get funding or not from wag? Why would an organiser want the additional hassle of not knowing if, or when, wag might fund them and then under what criteria. Gosh, it’s stressful enough for organisers that are council employees and are paid for their efforts, but why would a volunteer choose to put themselves through that, with virtually no support from the wag food department? In my view wag, I don’t think you deserve such good organisers when you cannot treat them with the respect and courtesy they deserve.

I find this practice of chasing wag to find out about food festival funding totally pointless and such a waste of time.

 

You really could never run a business as wag food run their department.

 

If only wag food could learn just one lesson that communication is the key…………………………………..

 
 

Feedback On – Bridgend Feastival

01 Oct

I’ve just been chatting to a producer who attended this festival at the weekend, whilst Ian and I were at Narbeth food festival. Bridgend applied for funding from the Welsh food festival budget of £9,500 and were fortunate to received £9,000. What they did with that funding of course I’ve no ide,a but according to my feedback source it wasn’t spent on marketing & advertising. Their view was that the  festival was a disaster. Very few people there and those that did stumble upon the event had no idea it was taking place – think that might come under pot luck!

Yet again I’m sad and angry to get feedback like this. I have to query once more how wag food make their decisions as to whether or not to fund a festival and then work out by how much they will get. I guess they couldn’t have used the latest Miller food festival evaluation report, as we’ve only just got hold of it  – unless, unlike us, wag got their copy in January. This festival funding situation is totally ridiculous. The money wasted at all levels, simply beggar’s belief and there is no way you could possibly run a business in this sloppy manner. In one way I hope this company has not read any of the Miller report, in another if they have they’ll choke on Miller saying that producers take about £1,990 per festival. Good gracious, we don’t get told much, but often it’s total rubbish and I for one am totally fed-up with it.

For goodness wag food talk to people that know and understand festivals, – producers would be a good place to start, but in fairness to you, they’d never tell you the truth for fear of reprisals. But you should all remember that’s it is tax payers that are paying your wages. Wag food should have it’s focus on supporting food producers and food festivals are a vital part to many of their businesses.

I must apologise though, because I don’t know how many times I will have to keep saying the same things to wag food before someone in that department wakes up and takes a reality check and that’s one where the salary is NOT paid into the bank each month regardless of performance.

 

 

 
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Food Festivals

04 Jul

Cardigan Bay festival takes place this weekend. So how do I know that? Well only because wag food eventually sent me through a list of food festivals they were funding. So I might as well remind you that this event asked for £9,500 and received £9k.

So you might well be asking yourself, what’s my latest problem? Well everything! Let me start with signage. I was in Aberaeron last Sunday, just one week before their big day and I didn’t see a single sign or a single poster and I’m only about 30 minutes away. So that’s not a good start and one of wag’s criteria ignored. So now with only days to go before the start, I still await a press release, but smug I’ve been clever enough not to hold my breath on that one.  I have to assume that my local paper had details sent through to them, but sadly I’ve been left out, poor me! Was it something I’ve said? In case you think I’m simply having another rant, this is another of wag’s criteria, saying festivals must send out press releases. Too many festivals are ignoring wag’s criteria and press releases are a basic PR tool if an event is trying to gain as much publicity as possible. It would appear that I’m a slow learner, because once more I’ve again taken the time and trouble to explain, by email to wag, what is happening so far with some food festivals. I’ve explained, working from my PR & Marketing background, that wag should be asking not just for copies of all press releases sent out by an event, but a list of where they were sent and finally where they were published, as proof of publication is essential. If publicity is not generated, visitor numbers will be limited to just local people, so in effect it’s a local fete. This important and essential, but it’s still not happening.

I’m worried because food festivals and hence our food producers, are missing out as so many people do not know what is happening and when and as this is often the case, why are wag still funding some festivals? But if wag food are happy with that scenario, then I am one of many that aren’t happy. But will this bother wag? I guess not as wag are not trying to earn their living in this industry are they? Wales has many micro magazines and websites and these are often well-read over a very limited area, but food festivals need to remember that there is a lot more media out there than their local newspapers, which are all operated by one of the big four publishers, and because of their nature are all well-supported with government advertising.

Now if that is not sufficient for me to grumble about, I just been on the web looking for a list of producer’s attending this event. Unfortunately this festival doesn’t have its own site but is linked into the town site, but even so, and some of you will not be surprised to learn that there isn’t one! I’m not surprised by this because this happening far too often.

Many of you are now aware, that TWO companies have been asked by wag to do an evaluation of food festivals this year. I’ve been invited to do an interview with them because of my – wealth of experience and strong views on food festivals and could undoubtedly provide useful information to the evaluators. Sadly wag:  cannot offer payment to interviewees in this situation and will fully understand if you choose to decline this opportunity.

Well I’ve refused their ‘kind’ offer as my name will then be linked with this review although I’ll have no control or input on the content. So although I shall be attending this event, I’ve no intention of blogging again about it and assisting wag’s two companies free of charge. Please don’t shout at me for not blogging about any more festivals. It’s a lot of work for me, and as welshfoodbites was used by Miller last year, I’ve basically had enough of being taken for granted by wag etc.

I’m not sure how much longer it will take wag to question themselves on why they are putting funding into Welsh food festivals that are then blatantly ignoring their criteria. Wag need also to ask themselves if they are funding food festivals so a few organisers can do some self-promotion, or are the food festivals first and foremost for our food producers?  If food producers are the priority then why, yet again, can’t I get a list of food producers attending this event?

 
 

Better Late Than Never – Wag’s Food Festival Funding For 2013

25 Apr

This should be a popular post, as I have today finally received the funding list from wag food. It would make me even angrier with wag food, if that were possible, if I could be bothered to count the number of emails, calls made and the time I’ve wasted trying to get this list. Oh to be on the same page as wag food and be working together, but sorry, I’m dreaming again………….!

I’m pleased that so many of you agree that we should have these details at the end of the year and not have to wait until April before even the organisers are told, but we shouldn’t hold our breath on that one. I feel so sorry for some of these organisers who now have to hold urgent committee meetings to see if they are actually able to go forward with their festivals, or if for various reasons such as lateness of funding offer, or maybe having a lower offer made, that they might now re-consider holding their festival. For those festivals running early in the year in particular, this has been nothing short of a stressful nightmare and a very unnecessary one. Plus on a personal level we’ve lost advertising from food festivals as they were awaiting wag’s decision.

In the past I’ve spent many years doing PR, public relations, albeit in the private sector. So I find it hard to envisage the scenario of the Minister finally rubber stamping this list, the news eventually going out to all the organisers on 9th April and the media being ignored until  25th April, despite my chasing again and again for it. If in my PR role I’d acted so slowly, inefficiently and unprofessionally, I simply wouldn’t have kept my job and neither would I have deserved to. In the private sector I was judged on performance and rightly so. Although I keep trying and failing by-and-large, to communicate with the pubic sector, and there can be no dispute that their views and attitudes are sadly totally different than in the real world that the rest of us have to work in.

I was also told by a good source, that the finalisation of the listing was delayed whilst a festival lobbied the Minister, seriously unhappy that  funding was this year being restricted to £10k. Sorry, but I can’t justify wasting more time trying to get that ‘story’ confirmed or denied, so I can only class it as a very interesting rumour, but I must confess it really did make me chuckle. Even without knowing the final outcome, I did wonder if the Minister, or his team then directed this festival to other sources of funding so that they don’t, in effect ‘lose out’. I have submitted an Freedom Of Information question through on this and will let you know the outcome. I’ve also asked for a full list of all festivals that did apply for funding and how much they asked for as this will give us a clearer picture of this budget.

New funding to help food and drink festivals to flourish

The Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies has announced over £210,000 to support food festivals and strengthen Wales’ reputation as a foodie nation. The funding, which will help showcase the best of Welsh food and drink to people living in and visiting Wales, will be allocated to 32 separate food festivals scheduled to take place across Wales in 2013 . The support is aimed at raising awareness of the high quality of food and drink on offer in Wales in order to build on Wales’ growing food culture.

Alun Davies said: “Good quality, distinctive food is a central part of our culture here in Wales. I am determined to build on that culture in order to enable our food and drinks industries to strengthen and thrive. We know that food festivals continue to be a big draw for people living in and visiting Wales and are an excellent way of showcasing the very best of Welsh produce. They also allow producers to strengthen their own business capacity which in turn contributes to a strengthened rural economy. I am therefore pleased to announce more than £210,000 to support 32 separate festivals across Wales . During 2013 the festivals will collectively receive £211,164.54 in assistance, to strengthen Wales’ reputation as a producer of high quality and diverse food and drink.

The food festivals receiving funding are:

North

Wrexham Food Festival 18 – 19 May 2013 £7,500.00

Llyn Land & Seafood Festival 25 – 26 May 2013 £5,440.00

Mold Food Festival 21 – 22 September 2013 £9,000.00

Anglesey Oyster & Welsh Produce Festival 12 – 13 October 2013 £1,593.40

Llangollen Food Festival 19 – 20 October 2013 £5,000.00

Gwledd Conwy Feast 26 – 27 October 2013 £10,000.00

Gwyl Fwyd a Chrefft Portmeirion 7 -8 December 2013 £5,850.00

South West

Gorseinon-Swansea Food Festival 27 April 2013 £7,825.00

Really Wild Festival 25-26 May 2013 £6,840.00

Gwyl Fwyd Castell Newydd Emlyn 15 June 2013 £2,955.50

Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival 22 – 30 June 2013 £10,000.00

Margam Market Day 07 July 2013 £5,458.50

Narberth Food Festival 27 – 29 September 2013 £8,286.00

Neath Food and Drink Festival 4 – 5 October 2013 £8,875.00

Mumbles Oyster Festival 17 – 20 October 2013 £4,350.00

West Wales Food Fayre Nov / Dec TBC £10,000.00

South East

Caerphilly Food Festival 04 May 2013 £7,431.50

Welsh Perry & Cider Festival 24 – 27 May 2013 £3,855.60

Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival 12 – 14 July 2013 £10,000.00

St Fagans Food Festival 7 – 8 September 2013 £7,000.00

Abergavenny Food Festival 21 – 22 September 2013 £10,000.00

Feastival 27 – 28 September 2013 £9,000.00

Newport Food Festival 05 October 2013 £7,590.00

Abergavenny Christmas Food & Drink Fair 08 December 2013 £8,500.00

Mid

Hay Summer Food Festival 29 June 2013 £1,775.00

Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival 07 July 2013 £9,000.00

Lampeter Food Festival 27 July 2013 £7,000.00

Cardigan River & Food Festival 10 – 11 August 2013 £10,000.00

Aberystwyth Food & Drink Festival 21 September 2013 £3,613.04

Newtown Food Festival 21 – 22 September 2013 £3,580.00

Brecon Beacons Food Festival 05 October 2013 £2,625.00

Hay Winter Food Festival 30 November 2013 £1,221.00

My team is checking out this list of dates and note that Newtown will run on 7th & 8th September not 21/22nd as wag state.

Just for interest last year 2012, food festivals were allocated £339,280 for 33 festivals. Despite the Minister saying how important Welsh food is to the economy, including tourism, this is a massive chop in this budget down to £210k.

 

 

 
 

What’s On?

02 Apr

Over the weekend a Welsh food producer was trying to see if there was any additional information out there on food festivals and markets. Foolishly, they went onto Fork2Fork, clicked on the tab ‘What’s On’ then selected Food Festivals from the list on the left, and clicked ‘Apply’. But for the forthcoming months all that showed up is a blank map. Which was summarised by this producer as, says it all really….

But not to be totally thwarted, their next option was to click on the tab for Farmers Markets and Aberystwyth, which was when the pop up box gave the wrong info!!!

I can’t resist adding my little bit, so I checked out F2F this morning and note that Clydach and Ruthin are still shown as operating markets. I actually posted on 25th January that Clydach and Grovesend markets were no longer trading. On 20th March I then posted that Ruthin market had bitten the dust too, but sadly no-one has thought to tell F2F.

So let’s have a reality check. F2F is the company that had £800k to promote markets/box schemes and farm shops, through the Supply Chain Efficiencies Scheme, so wouldn’t you have expected them to have had their fingers on the food pulse? Yes of course you would, but seemingly the powers-that-be don’t seem too perturbed. Let’s not also forget that this very same company that has also received a further ‘donation’ from the Supply Chain Efficiencies Scheme of £43k for additional activity for the website, some further information circulation. Well in my view, that’s  not working either, but will the powers-that-be shown any concern?

No need for answers on a postcard, simply post your comments and remember that you have no need to reveal who you are, that detail remains just between us.

 
 

Food Festival Funding 2013/14

19 Feb

Getting this information from wag has never been easy and it would help many people if this came out earlier. I’m constantly asked by a few organisers, producers and some of our readers, when will the dates be available. This has meant I have posted rather a lot about this of late, but it does show you the efforts I go to to try and help. Now I can give you the latest news, direct from wag’s mouth. I shall refrain from saying the horse’s mouth bearing in mind the other top story – horsemeat!

Anyway back to festival funding. Yesterday wag sent out a comprehensive pack to anyone who is requesting food festival funding. Further down I have posted some of it so producers can understand the criteria wag are expecting the organisers to adhere to. Well, in actual fact the organisers must obey the criteria, otherwise – no funding will be forthcoming. The full pack has already been sent out to our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers but here is main part of the application which should be helpful:

Food Culture Grant Funding for Food Festivals Criteria – Annex E

The maximum Food Culture Grant available for Food Festivals is £10,000 or 50% of eligible costs, whichever is the lesser. All applications will be scored against the following criteria:

• All events supported will have food activity as the core. The whole cost of the event must be shown in the application form, however, only the following elements will be eligible for funding:

 Cookery demonstrations – Promoting local / Welsh produce  

Marketing / advertising materials  

Utility costs e.g. water / electricity / refrigeration etc.  

Stands / marquee costs

•Welsh Food and Drink producers must form at least 75% of the total exhibitors, with no less than 25 Welsh food and drink producers exhibiting to be eligible for support.

•Funding is not available for activity which adds value to an existing attraction, e.g. where a charge is made to enter a premises and the food activity is an added attraction.  Where the charge makes a direct contribution to the funding of the festival then these may be considered for support.

•Activity which adds value to an existing market (e.g. Farmers Market) will not be eligible for support.

  • All applications will be required to submit a business plan as part of the application process. As a minimum, your plan must cover the following matters:
    • Aims, objectives and targets
    • Governance and management arrangements with details of relevant experience and track record
    • Budget forecasts (income and expenditure projections)
    • Support from other public sector agencies, for example: local authorities and national governing bodies of sport
    • Details of other funding sources including private sector/commercial sponsorship
    • Risk Management
    • Marketing Plans
    • Legacy Plans and plans for achieving sustainability of the festival in future years
    • Welsh Language provision
    • Sustainable event management
    • Waste Management

 Existing Festivals over £10k will be required to submit a full set of your most recent Audited Accounts.

  • Existing Festivals under £10k will be required to submit a cash flow statement with opening and closing balances taken from your most recent set of accounts.
  • New Festivals, which have never previously applied for funding, will be measured on their application form and business plan alone with your financial proposals.

Should applications exceed available funding, criteria listed in Annex F will be considered when deciding who to award funding to.

A review team will consider each application on its individual merit, and in light of available funding.

The applications will be scored on the following elements in as explained in the criteria:

 

Evaluation Criteria Weighting
Number / % of Welsh food producers 20%
Supporting Welsh Government’s food and drink objectives 15%
Business Plan 40%
Additional Observations 15%
Value For Money 10%

 

Food Culture Grant Funding – Food Festivals Criteria  – Annex F

 The following points should be borne in mind when considering the criteria:

• Promotion of Welsh Food Culture

Clear focus on Welsh food and drink  / supported by strong programme of associated events.

Supporting a good range / quality of producers.

Well established / growth potential.

Supplemented by chefs demos / opportunities to showcase produce.

Awareness raising of the event by promotional material/ Press/signage.

Press, PR and marketing – budget identified/appropriate to the scale of event Greater awareness of local food – championing local producers.

Innovation.

  •  Benefit to Local Community

Educational or social function – building on benefits of fresh, local, quality produce.

Stimulating both the demand for local produce and the supply in the area.

Community engagement/participation Involvement of local businesses particularly hospitality sector.

Cultural entertainment.

Sense of Place.

  •Local Economic Benefit

◦Community links and partner organisational engagement.

Evidence of spend towards local economy e.g. wages / goods / services (accrue to the host community).

Economic impact on Producers.

Creation of jobs.

Sustainability.

Building on the tourism offer / true food destination.

Stimulates new enterprise and business growth.

Other public and private sector investment leveraged.

  •Meeting objectives / aims of the Welsh Government

Grow the sales of Welsh food and drink in the Tourism sector.

Increase consumer confidence in, and awareness of the quality of food purchased in Wales.

Increase sales of Welsh food and drink.

The applications have to be returned by 11th March but after the number of organisers that have been anxiously waiting for funding news I just hope they have their details ready to go very quickly. I’ve been assured by wag food that I should have full details of successful applications w/c 11th April – which is a prompt turnaround bearing in the mind the number of applications expected in, are we going to take bets about the number that are filled in incorrectly? Perhaps not!!!

It’s also a bit of a eureka moment as at long last notice has been taken of welshfoodbites’ many food festival posts when I have moaned and moaned about the lack of marketing & promotion plans, press releases and signage. Let’s hope that when organisers complete these parts, they actually see it through and not just pay lip-service to ticking a wag box.

When the dates and financial details are sent through to me, these will of course be sent around our Best of Welsh & Borders producers and in due course published on welshfoodbites and welshcountry.co.uk It is very unlikely these will be published in Welsh Country magazine unless wag wish to do so.

 

 

 
 

Butchers, Who & Where Are You? Please Tell HCC Because They Don’t Know!!!

13 Nov

On 26th October I posted on my struggle to get what I thought was a simple FOI question, Number 6577 answered. The two questions were: 1. How many independent retails butchers are there in Wales? 2. Please forward the full list of all independent butchers in Wales. To be then told that the HCC, wag nor the FSA hadn’t the figures I’d asked for – that was it. So as is allowed I went forward to ask for an internal review to Wag in Pontypridd. This internal review got a similar response but I was also told if I wasn’t content with that response I could go back to him. Why oh why, would any civil servant after NOT answering a question, would they expect any journalist to be happy. In case you can’t guess, I’m not and here we go again. I’m sure it is not just me, but it is something I find infuriating, unprofessional and very annoying. Whilst emails banged backwards and forwards – achieving nothing new but wag’s game of smoke and mirrors continues. I’m then asked if I feel that wag and HCC should have this information this will be discussed with HCC. ‘If I feel’ ………guys I am not head honcho of HCC, because if I was, this basic information would have been there. How can any business, and in the case of HCC I use this term loosely, because you can’t be classed as a business if you are funded by wag and the levies paid for by the meat trade – but as I have been told that HCC is an industry lead body, how can they have the ability to lead anything at all if they don’t know how many local butchers they should be looking after? Cynics amongst you, will of course be saying that HCC have never looked after butchers and all the wordage on HCC’s website simply ‘says’ the right things but as we all know actions speak louder than words don’t they? I have followed through with this FOI question because butchers have quizzed me with one in particular asking me to send one through on his behalf. With my past poor record of achieving any sensible discussion with HCC, I warned him I wasn’t hopeful, but I certainly did expect to make some progress. Of course there are other options for me to try and at the moment I have a half page spare in our food editorial pages for our next issue of Welsh Country magazine, January/February. But do our readers really want to know that HCC, who is paid such a whacking amount of money to be a ‘lead industry body’ doesn’t know how many independent butchers there are in Wales – of course the embarrassment thankfully would be mine, but the question I’m struggling with, is will sharing this information help or hinder this industry further? Since Welsh Country magazine started eight years ago we set our stall out to support and promote local Welsh food in as many ways as we could. We ran a Buy Local – Eat Local campaign we put together our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers group, which now totals over 100 producers. We talk on a regular basis by phone and email to our BOW people, and they are more up-to-date with what is happening in their industry than they have ever been, which is excellent and is how it should be, despite the fact that communication should be wags job. We know when our producers are unhappy and we feel it is part of our role to help them when we can with any food problems. I started welshfoodbites and this has been a massive success, despite not being funded by anyone but us. If I tell you that I’ve asked on our producers’ behalf in excess of 30, yes thirty Freedom Of Information questions relating to food issues. Wag have eventually in some case, had to supply information that I’d been told was not in the public domain, but I got there, in time. It is not for the first time, I can assure that the WCM team and I feel we are the unpaid conscience of wag food, but does it still have to be this way?

So far this year Ian and I have attended 22 food festivals. But over the years we’ve attended numerous farmers’ markets, local produce markets, food conferences and food tourism groups. So surely there can’t be too much doubt that we have more than a good idea of what our food producers are thinking and wanting.

As wag, HCC or FSA don’t know butcher number in Wales, we are now having to speak to County Environmental Health officers to find if they have the information readily available. We still await a response but they have now put the question under an Freedom of Information banner so we should hear within 20 working days.  If this situation gets updated you can be sure I’ll let you know.