24 September 2013
Today during plenary the Minister for Natural Resources and Food will be making a statement on developing the food sector in Wales .
On 16 July 2013 the Minister, Alun Davies AM, issued a statement on the future promotion of food and drink from Wales. The statement outlined his proposals for an autumn consultation on a new approach to developing the sector and promoting produce from Wales.
The Minister announced that the existing strategy, Food for Wales, Food from Wales, was no longer fit for purpose and he would publish a new strategic Plan for Food in the autumn. The new plan would be informed by the recommendations of the Food and Farming Panel and take account of cross-cutting priorities such as health and tourism.
He also announced that the consumer facing True Taste brand no longer met the industry’s needs and he had decided there would be no True Taste Awards in 2013. As part of the consultation in the autumn, the Minister stated that he wishes to hear suggestions on how best to celebrate the best food and drink produced in Wales, be that through a specific awards competition or a different approach. The Welsh Government will continue to develop its new ‘Food and Drink Wales’ trade identity used at the 2013 International Food Exhibition.
In addition to the consultation, the Minister also announced he would be introducing a new Wales Food and Drink Trade Event, located in Wales, to create a ‘new opportunity for producers and buyers to network and negotiate new business.’ Planning for this event is underway and it is likely to be held in early 2014.
The Minister discussed his proposals further at a scrutiny session with the Environment and Sustainability Committee at the Royal Welsh Show on 24 July 2013. He stated that the response to his announcement by the food industry had been ‘overwhelmingly positive’ and that the Welsh Government is now investing more of its resources into trade promotion. The full transcript of the session with the Minister can be found here.
Food for Wales, Food from Wales
‘Food for Wales, Food from Wales’ was published by the previous Welsh Government and is a ten year strategy for developing the Welsh food industry.
The strategy is founded on sustainable development principles and covers a range of issues such as health, food culture and education, environmental sustainability and community development. Its three main objectives are to:
- build resilience in the food system;
- encourage a stronger food economy in Wales; and
- enhance the competitiveness of Welsh food businesses.
The full strategy can be found here.
Wales the True Taste
‘Wales the True Taste’ is a brand used to promote high quality food and drink from Wales among consumers, the hospitality industry and the public sector. It was previously managed by the Welsh Development Agency before that body was absorbed into the Welsh Government in 2006.
One of the main ways in which the brand was used to raise awareness of Welsh products was through the annual the Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards. The first awards were held in 2002 and winners could brand their products and establishments with the True Taste logo. Other promotional activities included a True Taste stand at trade and consumer shows, support of True Taste food festivals, production of a Welsh food directory and annual True Taste Magazine, distributed to over 50,000 people, and a touring True Taste Kitchen.
A list of winners from the 2012 True Taste awards can be found here.
Article written by Elfyn Henderson.