Food and Drink Wales Industry Board Newsletter

16 June 2020

  FDWIB Newsletter - Header collage [15 June 2020]

“The Food and Drink Wales Industry Board exists to champion food and drink in Wales and during this unprecedented Covid-19 crisis, our aim as a Board is to bring you concise, relevant and up-to-date information to keep you well informed.

FDWIB - Andy Richardson

With the next review of lockdown measures in Wales set to take place on June 18th, preparation for potential re-opening of many food and drink business including hospitality and food service becomes ever more vital for Welsh food and drink businesses.

The Test, Trace and Protect strategy will be paramount in managing the spread of coronavirus in Wales and protecting its people. Food and Drink businesses will need to understand the strategy and its implications on workforce and manage any potential barriers.

Ahead of the next review we encourage and remind you to access the resources provided by Food Innovation Wales, the Food and Drink Federation and the Food Standards Agency on best reopening practices ensuring your business and the industry as a whole is well prepared for future outcomes.”

Andy Richardson, Chair of the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board

Latest on Covid-19 for food and drink businesses

Top news stories of the week

Recent key actions from the Board

  • The Board met with the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs to discuss the recommendations the Board will make to Government in supporting the food and drink industry through and after Covid19 recovery as well as the implications of Brexit.

  • Our Chair attended a meeting with the UK Secretary of State to discuss non devolved food and drink issues and reinforce the importance of the Welsh food and drink industry in the nation's food security and health.

  • At our weekly Board meeting we were given further insight into issues surrounding skills in the industry and developed the Board’s future approach to a skills strategy with a focus on apprenticeships and the new Curriculum for Wales.

  • The Board is regularly meeting with Welsh Government officials from the Test, Trace Protect taskforce where we are able to raise any concerns from the industry surrounding the impact of the app, particularly from the manufacturing sector.

  • The Board has worked with Food Innovation Wales to help prepare a guidance document for businesses to help manage and prepare for the new Test, Trace, Protect strategy and work within it.

  • We have continued to share links to information, support and toolkits via Twitter and LinkedIn as well as supporting with social media toolkits.

Voices from the industry with Joanna Morgan, Radnor Preserves

FDWIB Newsletter - Voices collage [15 June 2020]

We are an artisan producer of exquisite hand-made preserves, based in mid Wales. We were awarded Double Gold at the World Marmalade Awards in 2015 for our Hand-Cut Smoky Campfire Marmalade and named one of Britain's Top 10 Finest Artisan Food Producers by Olive Magazine in 2018, as well as winning many Great Taste awards.

As a fine food brand, 95 per cent of our stockists closed overnight when the lockdown was introduced. Fortunately, we were already on the Ocado platform, so we have benefitted from the increased demand for Ocado’s services and received strong orders through them since the lockdown began. Our only other main outlet that has remained open is our own online shop.

With many of our online customers only buying from us in November or December or for big family occasions, I needed to adapt and create a stronger relationship with our customers, so I began writing a weekly e-newsletter at the beginning of April. The response has been phenomenal, with online sales far exceeding our Christmas sales, and we are gaining new subscribers to the newsletter every week. I am now building sales opportunities across further digital platforms to make it easier for more customers to reach us. We have also won a competition with Clear Channel for a digital advertising campaign and will feature in prime locations across central London over the second half of June.

The support from Welsh Government for businesses during these challenging times is greatly appreciated.  Like many, our supply chain has been impacted, with some ingredients and protective measures becoming more expensive or difficult to obtain, as demand increases from other sectors. Brexit is still an issue for the industry and I'm concerned about the Trade Deals currently being negotiated by the UK government and the impact they will have on our food chain. The pandemic has obviously had to be the main priority, but there is real danger we are heading for No Deal which would be extremely damaging for our sector.

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