Posts Tagged ‘Welsh Government’s Food Division’

9626 – Micro & Small Food And Drink Businesses

05 Aug

Questions are often asked of me that I don’t know the answers to, hence a further FOI to wag. Follows are their answers in full:
1. What number of micro food and drink producers are there in Wales?
2. What number of small food and drink producers are there in Wales?
In response to question 1 & 2

In 2014 there were 335 food and drink local units in the micro size band in Wales and 105 small size band local units. Food and drink is defined by the following standard industrial classification codes 10.1 to 10.9 inclusive and 11.0.
The published report “The value of Welsh food and drink” details 520 units in the Welsh food and drink manufacturing and processing sector. The work delivered through this report was to identify robust sources of data which could be referred back to and updated over time with proven and consistent methodologies in terms of data collection.
‘Local units’ was decided as the measure for this report and refers in this definition to food business within the food manufacturing and processing sector. A local unit is an individual site (for example a factory or shop) associated with an enterprise. It can also be referred to as a workplace. So for this exercise it refers to an individual site or enterprise within the manufacturing or processing of food and drinks. The business has to derive its main income from this activity.

You also asked a question on how we communicate to food and drink producers in Wales.
The Welsh Government communicate bilingually in numerous ways, such as website ( / social media (facebook, twitter, linkedin, you tube, flickr) press notices.
The Welsh Government’s Food Division also communicates bilingually via website ( / social media (twitter – @bwydadiodcymru / @fooddrinkwales) press notices and through case studies.

Well, I’ll be interested in your take on these figures, thankfully our Food & Drink producer database is in a much healthier position than wags! That large difference between our two databases would be amusing if it wasn’t so serious.

As for how wag food communicate to food and drink producers, this seems to sum up what I’ve been saying for years – communication is the key. I’m not convinced wag’s uninteresting websites, which hardly encourage regular, if any visits and social media are the best ways to communicate. As most producers have websites and many have online shops, producers are rather good at answering emails, so why do wag food not send food and drink producers emails and eshots? Food and drink producers rightly complain how busy they are and they, unlike civil servants are not working 9.00 -5.00, five days a week. So despite the fact that some of them do now use social media – it is an extra job for them to do. So I still think wag food are not doing a good jobcommunicating with food and drink producers. The onus is on them to chase and search for news from wag food? I still cannot see that’s the correct way around. As for press notices, that has to be a joke that fails to raise even a smirk for me. I’ve never known a government department that’s as poor at communication as wag food. But after offering constructive criticism on their lack of communication, I might as well admit that after ten years I’ve got nowhere. Actually I think their communication is getting worse, and who would have thought that could happen? As I’ve said before you could never, ever, run a business like this.

Why do I have to waste my time using the Freedom Of Information Act to get information about food festivals? Information that used to be sent out to me automatically? I think that’s disgraceful. Just what is so secret about asking how much festivals have asked for in funding? What they been given and why many have been reduced? This is European money and details of spending should be easy to obtain and is most certainly in the public interest………….


Action Plan For Welsh Food Consultation

25 Nov


The Minister For Natural Resources, Alun Davies will be launching the consultation document, Delivering Growth at the Winter Fair on Monday 2nd December.

Wag food’s plan includes three central themes and seven priorities. The themes are:

1. To form a Food & Drinks federation to offer leadership to the food sector;

2. To develop a new Food & Drink Wales identity for food to support trade and market development;

3. A focus in training and up-skilling throughout the food chain.

The seven priorities included:

1. Food market growth.

2. Food culture.

3. Food safety.

4. Climate change.

5. Improved integration and efficiency in the supply chain.

6. Health.

7. Social wellbeing.

The consultation is available on line at

We’ve spent much of today trying to get this link to work and failed miserably. So suggest ring or email if you wish your views to be heard.

You can also request copies from the Welsh Government’s Food Division by calling 0300 062 2436 or email:

That’s the official story of where things are to date.

I’ve asked wag food press office if they are issuing an official press release after Mr Davies’ announcement, and the good news is they are. So this will be sent out to all our Best Of Welsh & Border producers as soon as possible.  I do worry how other Welsh food producers will find out about this latest food consultation but it’s not my job to contact them all is it?

Of course there’s nothing to stop you passing your views through in the two ways wag food suggest. Whether your/our views will make any difference, only time will tell. But if you don’t even bother then we’ll have to accept what wag food’s proposed strategy is once again. I know you all felt badly done to last time when many of spent our spare time going to wag meetings but we were not listened too. Well it could happen again  – there’s not certainly that it wont, but please at the very least send them and email with your concerns and worries. It’s no use moaning at Ian and I and our team to get things change – we are virtually powerless to get wag food to listen to us. We always pass on your concerns but they are not often actioned.

The strategy is formed from recommendations of the Food & Farming Panel.