The Association of Welsh Independent Brewers, (AWIB) response to the, Welsh Assembly Government, WAG’s response to the Rural Affair’s Sub-Committee’s report on the brewing industry. The Rural Affairs Sub-Committee suggest that The Welsh Government should improve its own expertise and capacity to support the Welsh wine, beer, cider and sprit industries by appointing an official within its Food and Market Development Division with dedicated responsibility for developing and promoting the sectors in Wales.
WAG Response, Reject in part saying:
A finite amount of resources are allocated to the market development of the food sector in Wales. The Assembly Government’s Food, Fisheries & Market Development Division’s (FFMDD) remit is to support the development and growth of food production, and food and drink processing industries in Wales. To make certain that this is achieved a broader approach has been taken to ensure that the division’s activity is all encompassing.
The Assembly Government is not in a position to take this recommendation forward due to limited resources, and the Assembly Government must prioritise its interventions. Despite this the Welsh Assembly Government at present supports four dedicated festivals for the drinks sector. Total support for these 4 festivals total £63,000 funded by the Food Festival Grant Funding Programme, part of the Supply Chain Efficiencies Scheme, funded by the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is financed by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Union.
FFMDD also takes a lead role in coordinating ‘Welsh Wine Week’ which aims to spark interest in Wales’ wine producers and vineyards where producers across the country offer tastings, tours, and special promotions in order to show the quality of Welsh wine.
Producers also have an opportunity to enter into the annual True Taste Awards, managed by the Welsh Assembly Government with a category devoted to alcoholic drinks. To date 12 producers in the sector have benefited from the PR support under the True Taste banner as well as the opportunity to participate in a calendar of consumer and trade events.
Kath’s comment: The Food Festival budget continues to be squeezed. Although for the last two years I have not received the financial allocation per festival, I am aware of one 2-day food festival which received this year about £4k. So to learn that 4 festivals dedicated for the drinks sector get £63,000k between them really does make me annoyed. The four festivals are: Monmouthshire Pear & Perry Festival, Welsh Perry & Cider Festival, Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival and the West Wales Beer, Cider Perry Festival. I wonder how this money, which averages around £16k each, is spent. I wonder how long these 4 dedicated festivals for the drinks sector have been getting this amount of money and can this amount really be justified?