Food and Drink Wales Industry Board Newsletter

22 July 2020

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“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 the tourism and hospitality industry gradually begins to reopen in Wales, there will continue to be many considerations and challenges to food and drink producers and businesses. We encourage you to refer to Welsh Government guidance on reopening for hospitality and Food Standards Agency guidance for advice on reopening and adapting food businesses.

The issue of Brexit will also continue to pose challenges and opportunities to the food and drink sector in Wales which the Board is addressing in Government meetings alongside the issues associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Board will carry on engaging directly with business and with Government to achieve the best outcomes for the food and drink industry in Wales. Our new webinar programme will offer businesses direct access to Government and we will continue to share vital sources of information and support. We encourage your feedback and insight to help us be advocates for the sector.”

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

Latest on Covid-19 for food and drink businesses

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Top news stories of the week

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Recent key actions from the Board

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  • The Board has submitted its Covid-19 Recovery Plan which encompasses the challenges and opportunities faced by Food and Drink Wales. The Minister for Environment Energy and Rural Affairs welcomed the report and is supportive of an innovative plan to support the sector out of the current crisis, in line with Welsh Government’s own Green Recovery plan. This plan will be shared with food and drink businesses over the coming weeks.
  • The Board’s continues to highlight the risk of redundancies with Welsh Government and the need to build and support resilient food and drink businesses in Wales.
  • Board members met with the Minister to present the concerns and context of food and drink businesses reliant on hospitality in Wales. The Minister listened to concerns around the two metre social distancing rule, as well as the level of Government support for the tourism industry in Wales and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the pub and drinks industry in particular. We also discussed the wider economic and community impacts that a reduction in hospitality businesses would have in Wales, particularly in rural areas.
  • We also met with Welsh Government’s Trade team to discuss the impact to food and drink businesses as we move to a critical phase of the Brexit negotiations. Board members were able to offer the trade team useful insight into issues surrounding tariffs and skills in particular.
  • The Board received a presentation from the Export team at Food and Drink Wales who shared the development and successes of the recent virtual and digital export programme. The Export Club has gained some key new members during the crisis and the team is developing new markets for Welsh produce worldwide.
  • Board Members were part of the Food & Drink Wales Building Financial Resilience webinar programme, looking at the specific risks facing food and drink businesses and identifying some of the mitigations that businesses can put in place to help manage those risks.
  • We have continued to share links to information, support and toolkits via Twitter and LinkedIn as well as supporting with social media toolkits.

Important involvement: Food and drink apprenticeship consultations

Welsh food and drink apprenticeships are programmes of learning designed around the needs of the employer to help recruit and train staff. Apprenticeship programmes can transform businesses by offering a route to fresh new, sector-skilled talent. Apprenticeships also provide experienced employees the opportunity to gain additional skills while receiving outside training from an approved training provider.

Currently, a consultation is underway regarding proposed changes to the major apprenticeship pathway used by businesses. Sector skills council, the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, is hosting two online consultations – one on Level 2 apprenticeship schemes with recruiting new sector talent and Level 3 apprenticeship schemes designed to provide additional skills to already experienced employees. The links will also take you to the details of the proposed changes to each scheme.

We’re conscious many businesses across Wales are currently experiencing many pressures in regards to re-opening or re-starting operations due to coronavirus rules relaxing, but if apprenticeships are important to your business and/or sector, we would encourage you to respond to this very important consultation.

If you haven’t previously benefitted from the apprenticeship scheme but would like to in the future, it is essential for you to participate in this consultation as well.

Voices from the industry with Deborah Lewis, Dusty Knuckle Pizza

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Dusty Knuckle is an independent pizzeria based in Cardiff. We specialise in Neapolitan style pizza where the quality and provenance of the ingredients is key.

Covid-19 unfortunately caused the immediate closure of our restaurants. Combined with the loss of the street food and wedding industries, we have had an 80% loss in our expected revenue for 2020 so far.

We had to react very quickly at the start of the pandemic and reduced all operations to centralise from our city centre outlet. We converted the site into a delivery outlet and signed up with Deliveroo as well as launching our make at home pizza kits which generated cash flow on a weekly basis.

For our sector, having a blanket policy where all landlords were committed to providing rent relief would provide breathing space while independent restaurants re-establish their offerings to the community.

We’d like to encourage Government to continue to working collaboratively with food businesses and ensure consultation continues while we all look to reopen as safely as possible. There is not a one size fits all way forward at this time.

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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