Food and Drink Wales Industry Board Newsletter

3 July 2020

FDWIB Newsletter - Header collage [29 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

As restrictions across Wales are set to ease and tourism begins to reopen from mid-July, it’s essential that we remain vigilant and continue to operate in line with government advice.

The board has worked in collaboration with Food Innovation Wales to produce a resource of Covid-19 toolkits designed to help businesses manage operational risks and reopen or continue to manufacture safely and we remind all food and drink businesses to make use of that resource and also the regional helplines available.

We encourage you to access the resources provided by 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

Welsh Government guidance: Prevention and management of coronavirus in food and meat plants


Welsh Government announce grant support for Start Up businesses


Welsh Government’s Test, Trace, Protect strategy


The Test, Trace, Protect toolkit for critical worker employers


Contact tracing in Wales: FAQs


Updated Covid 19 toolkits for food businesses

FDWIB Newsletter - Latest collage [29 June 2020]

Driving up skills and employability vital for Wales’ economic recovery

Flexible furloughing and next steps

Coronavirus-related updates and advice from HSE

Covid-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Guidance on business closure restrictions being eased

Food Matters Food Matters Podcast: Food and drink trends, the future of retail

Summary data about Covid-19 and the response

Small Business Grants

Access to finance during Covid-19 crisis

Welsh food and drink workforce collaboration

Lantra’s skills matching service

Public Health Wales resources to support your wellbeing

Top news stories of the week


New coronavirus guidance for meat and food plants published


#CaruCymruCaruBlas campaign urges shoppers to show their ‘love’ for Welsh food and drink industry

FDWIB Newsletter - News collage [29 June 2020]

Black Lives Matter: black founders open up about race in the food & drink industry

UK-wide consultation into dairy sector to tackle supply chain issues launched

The squeezed middle need support if hospitality restart is to succeed

AMRC helps lead manufacturers into the 'new normal'

High-street Butchers See Big Jump in Trade During COVID Crisis

Welsh Food and Drink Supplement published in the Fine Food Digest

Local Food And Drink Website Announced For Caerphilly And Gwent

Anglesey's White Eagle and Oyster Catcher pubs taken out of administration and set to reopen

Guide for SMEs: what is the flexible furlough scheme and how do you use it?

Covid-19 Consumer Tracker waves one and two report published

Recent key actions from the Board

The Board received a briefing from Welsh Government regarding current outbreaks of Covid-19 at some food manufacturing sites. Staff at these sites are undergoing testing. Welsh Government will receive daily updates and will share with the Board.

We are working with Food Innovation Wales to identify and map any ‘high risk’ businesses and offer expert support in the form of risk assessments and best practice guidance.

The Board is working on a joint strategic Covid-19 recovery plan with Welsh Government to ensure key opportunities and challenges for the Food and Drink industry are addressed both in the short term and longer term.

We will be meeting with the Minister for Environment Energy and Rural Affairs in early July to discuss this plan and the high-level issues facing the sector as restrictions begin to ease.

Board members have met with and listened to the concerns from the hospitality and food service sector in Wales and have raised these concerns with Welsh Government during our weekly meetings. This will also be an agenda item during our next Ministerial meeting.

We continue to work with other Welsh and UK food and drink organisations to ensure Welsh interests are maintained and we develop the best insight for our industry. This is particularly relevant as we move to a critical phase of the Brexit negotiations.

The Board supports the #CaruCymruCaruBlas #LoveWalesLoveTaste campaign aiming to raise awareness of the outstanding food and drink from Wales and encourage the Welsh community to support Welsh Food and Drink producers. As part of this campaign there will be Welsh Food and Drink Celebration Days starting with the first day on Friday 3rd July 2020, with another in August and in September.

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 Nina Howden, Silver Circle Distillery

FDWIB Newsletter - Voices collage [29 June 2020]

We're a brand new distillery in the Wye Valley and opened our doors last July. This summer was supposed to be our first proper tourist season - we had really big plans.

We combine a Berlin bar culture mindset with extremely local and seasonal ingredients from the Wye Valley and our focus is on experiences and encouraging people to visit.  

The Covid-19 crisis has had a major impact on these plans for our first summer. Our newly renovated tasting room was supposed to open on March 21st, the first weekend of the lockdown

We were also just launching our "make your own gin" experience, which had to be completely cancelled. Likewise, our main bar and restaurant customers all closed, as well as food festivals and markets being cancelled.

We’ve had to adapt and innovate by completely switching our focus to online sales. We've done that by using social media and digital marketing to get more people to our webstore, but also by thinking about what we're offering. We've launched more new products than we would have otherwise, to be able to sell more to our existing fans. We've also launched a range of merch that we're selling online. We're seeing that people are buying more as gifts to other people than they were before, so we've started offering gift messages with orders.

We've also grouped together with a team of other amazing, award-winning producers in the Wye Valley to create Wye Valley Producers, a weekly click-and-collect market in Chepstow. It's been an amazing experience to work and collaborate together. We all take turns with everything from social media to handing out the produce boxes at the click-and-collect. The support of the people in this group has really helped us to get through these difficult times. The initiative has gained attention and we were featured on the BBC’s Countryfile programme recently.

However, it's incredibly important for our local economy that safe tourism is allowed to return to the beautiful Wye Valley. Activities like ours which are in a rural location with lots of space and fresh air, and which are for small groups and with easy social distancing are low risk so should be able to reopen soon. We have lots of plans for offering experiences for social "bubbles" or one household at the time, and plans to keep people spaced out safely in our outdoor cocktail garden as soon as we're allowed to welcome them back to the distillery. We are very mindful of the measures that we need to take, but each business should be treated as an individual as there is a lot of variation of risk and opportunity within the food and drink sector.

Stay connected for updates on Twitter and LinkedIn. Join our Facebook Group to collaborate workforce. Get in touch with us via email at



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