Posts Tagged ‘Welsh Food & Drink Board’

Food & Drink Board

20 Apr

My thanks to a Best of Welsh & Borders producer who rang in yestrerday and gave me an update on the Food and Drink Board – something I’d more or less forgotten about as I’d heard nothing of late about it.  You’d know if I’d been sent anything I’d have posted it. But for those interested check out their website whcih shows minutes of 3 meetings that took place in March, June and September 2015. Interestingly there are no further minutes posted.

We’ve been told that this Board will be the voice of the food and drink industry in Wales, providing direction, encouraging networking and sharing vital information. It was, as I understood, to be run by the industry itself. But in the minutes of the September 2015 meeting, which was the first full Board meeting, wag now state that ‘in time’ the Board may move to a position where is will be independent of government.

At the meeting in September 2015, there were 12 attendees and two apologies given, along with 4 Welsh Government people, with 3 apologies sent, which included the Deputy Food Minister and the Head Of the Food Department). What a shame they’d all got more important things to do than attend this 3rd meeting. A member of the Welsh Government chaired the meeting and explained the agreed process for electing a new Chair/Vice Chair. At the next meeting in December a secret ballot took place with one vote for a candidate for one role, results were to be given in January 2106. If there was a tied vote the final decision would be made by Welsh Government Ministers.  

Well it wasn’t only the ballot that was, because so was the meeting itself as no minutes are yet available!!

We’re now into late April, with December well behind us and my sources say that Andy Richardson from Volac was elected Chair, as well as being Chair of Welsh Dairy Leadership Board. So good luck to him and to Justin Scale from Capestone Organics and David Lloyd Director, Food Industry Centre, Cardiff Metropolitan University who were elected as Vice Chairs. For interest, last year Volac turned over £199 million with Capestone Organics £14.4million. Great news to hear from these two companies and you can only be proud of their growth, but my worry is our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers who often ask me who is fighting for them as micro and small producers on this board.

Anyway back to the last published minutes of the September 2015 meeting and what interested me is that on this Board, which was to be run by the industry, if the vote for Chair had been tied, Welsh Government Ministers would decide. Note, not necessarily the Deputy Food Minister, but Ministers, plural! I still need convincing that this Board is run ‘by’ the industry, rather than industry people working hard to help the Government achieve the targets they have set.

The past minutes also say that a further recruitment exercise will be undertaken to increase the breadth of coverage of the Board and to encourage applications from under represented groups will take place. Well what a great idea, ‘under represented groups’, or perhaps wag means more of their Quangos. Some of my Best Of Welsh & Borders producers have been suggesting that they form a union as the only way they see of wag hearing their voices. Perhaps if they’d done that, wag would have considered them an ‘under represented group’ and they’d be represented on this Board.

With little information I am unsure as to how much work is going to be involved with taking on the role of Chair & Vice Chairs, but as I’ve said, I’m also unhappy that there are few people on this board that really represent small businesses. It’s time then to accept that the Welsh Government is not very interested in small/micro food and drink businesses.

I’d like to say watch this space for an update, but think it’s safest to say if the Food & Drink Board Wales is of interest, you’d best check out their website and see if that helps.



New Applications For Welsh Food & Drink Board

02 Jun

I first posted on this Welsh Government proposed new board on 30th March and followed up on 30th April. If interested please check out both those posts, as this will save me repeating myself! The gist is that after asking for applications to join the board in March, when I understand about 40 companies applied and then some were interviewed. Wag then decided that the board composition wasn’t a fair representation and asked for more companies to apply. The closing date was 24th April.
But as we are now into June I’m being asked what’s happening and who’s been appointed. Sorry folks, but I’ve not been sent any news of the further appointments but we are all aware of how important Welsh food and drink is to Wales.

I’ve asked the press office today and if they have any information it will be sent around our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers and then posted on welshfoodbites.

Sorry for this delay, but as you are well aware that my ongoing message to wag and wag food hasn’t got through that communication is the key………………….