Food and Drink Wales Newsletter - March 2021

March 2021 • Issue 018



‘Green shoots’ vision announced for food and drink industry post-Covid

Sustainable Brand Value

Welsh Government announces future vision for the food and drink industry as it sets its sights to be world leader in sustainability. Leading food and drink figures are set to join forces with Welsh Government as they outline plans to place sustainable practices at the heart of the industry’s post-Covid recovery agenda.  Looking at areas such as growth and productivity, environmental impact, fair work and raising standards throughout, by working together it is hoped that government and industry can create one of the most environmentally and socially responsible supply chains in the world.

Watch Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs describes how the Welsh Government values food and drink sustainability here.

Andy Richardson 150

Food and Drink Wales Industry Board - Chair's Update March 2021

At the time of writing, the Welsh food and drink industry has been under the shadow of the
coronavirus pandemic for an entire year. We know it has been an incredibly difficult and disruptive time for many businesses, particularly when combined with the dual challenge that has come with the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU.

UK GI 150

The UK GI scheme is now open to new applications

The first batch of applications to the new scheme included 2 applications from Wales and these are currently being assessed by the UK GI panel. Several new Welsh applications are nearing their final draft stages and will hopefully be presented to the UK GI panel over the next few months

The Welsh Government (WG) GI website page provides further advice on how to apply to the scheme and showcases some of the GI promotional assets now available, to help raise the profile of the Welsh GI family and their Welsh GI products.

In addition, WG have created individual GI product ‘food stories’ to further showcase the producers and their products. An example of the Conwy Mussel PDO video can be seen below.   


COVID-19 Testing Strategy for Wales 

Our revised COVID-19 Testing Strategy for Wales was launched on 28 January 2021. It sets out how we will deliver on the testing priorities going forward including a focus on testing to support and maintain key services in the public and private sector.

Testing will be available until the end of June 2021.

If you have any questions on the framework or wish to discuss further please contact:

Food Centre Wales

Starting a successful Food or Drink business in the midst of a pandemic

The pandemic has not discouraged many food and drink entrepreneurs from starting up - and although Food Centre Wales has been closed since March 2020, they have been able to adapt their services to offer support online and remotely to businesses. The online start-up service is designed to help new food and drink producers to turn their passion into a business.


Grow your business through exports

UK produce is renowned worldwide for its heritage, high quality and traceability. As a result, the global demand for quality and premium UK food and drink products is growing.

New trade deals are opening doors for British agriculture and food and drink businesses around the world, and the Department for International Trade (DIT) offers free advice and support to help your business take advantage of new global opportunities.

From identifying new markets to developing your e-commerce website our experts are here – whether you’re new to exporting or looking to grow your international sales.

Seafood sector

£1.3m for Welsh seafood sector to help deal with Brexit and Covid impacts

The Welsh Government has launched a new £1.3 million scheme to help the Welsh fishing and aquaculture sector following the twin hits to their businesses caused by leaving the EU and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first part of the scheme will see a targeted one-off grant made available to eligible Welsh vessel-owning fishing businesses, with the grant equivalent to three months’ vessel costs, capped at £10,000.

SME Support fund

Government announces £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund

The government has announced additional support for UK businesses with less than 500 employees.

SMEs who trade only with the EU and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.

Apply for a grant to help small and medium-size businesses new to importing and exporting.

Isolation Scheme

Self-isolation Support Scheme

We wanted to let you know that there’s an update on the Self-isolation Support Scheme and how to claim a payment. If someone been alerted to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, they can now use the app to apply for a £500 payment through the self-isolation support scheme to help with loss of earnings. The most up-to-date information on the self-isolation support scheme is available here -

Factory work

Rural Business Investment Scheme - Food is now open

RBIS (Food) covers capital investments costs and supports projects that offer clear and quantifiable benefits to the food and drink industry in Wales. 

The scheme is open to existing and start up micro & small food and drink processors and manufacturers throughout Wales.   

The maximum grant rate for any individual investment project is 40% of the total eligible costs. The maximum grant threshold per undertaking for any individual investment project is £150,000, and the minimum is £5,000

New guidance and criteria for the scheme is available on:

You can apply for RBIS (Food) via Rural Payments Wales (RPW) Online ONLY.  If you are not registered with RPW Online and wish to submit an application, please refer to the guidance on how to register available on this link Rural Payments Wales (RPW) Online.

Guild of Fine Food

SME food & drink sector: The state of our market, March 2021

The food and drink sector has been hit hard in the past 12 months.  Whether you are a retailer, involved in hospitality or a food & drink producer, COVID and Brexit will have touched you.  In March last year the Guild of Fine Food mobilised itself to give support and to encourage creative thinking in SMEs.  We disseminated important legislation and direction on good practice to help businesses survive.  Part of that work involved lobbying government and informing policy.  You can help us by completing the survey below so that we can better understand the sector and the challenges it has and will face.  We will continue to represent the independent food & drink sector in Wales and throughout the UK.

Deadline 31 March.


FSA’s quick guide to help food businesses prepare for changes to allergen labelling   

From October 2021, new food labelling laws for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food will be introduced.

The new requirements mean that (PPDS) food will need to have the name of the food and a full ingredients list with allergenic ingredients emphasised within the list.

These changes will help protect food hypersensitive consumers by providing potentially life-saving allergen information on the packaging.


FSA launches new tool to help businesses assess food crime risks

Food businesses can use a new online tool to assess their vulnerability to food crime.

The Food Fraud Resilience Self-Assessment Tool guides food business owners and employees through a series of questions designed to help them identify the risk to their business from food crime, and outlines steps that they can take to mitigate this. Businesses can complete this anonymously or choose to share their details with the FSA to receive tailored advice and support. 

Horticulture 01

Fit for the future: A roadmap for commercial horticulture in Wales

Boosting horticulture is key to the Welsh Government’s plans to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and is identified by their Green Recovery Taskforce as a route to accelerating Wales’ transition to a low-carbon economy and a healthier, more equal nation.

This Action Plan for the Commercial Horticulture Industry in Wales provides a roadmap and recommends actions to build in-line with Welsh Government strategic objectives. Led by Tyfu Cymru, this Action Plan outlines a multi-stakeholder, whole supply chain approach to develop and sustain the commercial production of horticulture produce in Wales for the long term.

Horticulture 02

Anglesey fruit and vegetable grower recognised for outstanding commitment to Continuous Professional Development

As part of the Lantra Land based Learner Awards, Tyfu Cymru’s Training Award recognises horticulture businesses for outstanding commitment to Continuous Professional Development. Winner of the award, Hootons Homegrown is a family farm proudly producing homegrown Anglesey fruit and vegetables.

Joint runners-up were Puffin Produce Ltd - the largest supplier of Welsh produce in Wales, and Seiont Nurseries Ltd based in Caernarfon who supply mail order plants. Read more

Horticulture 03

Tyfu Cymru announce new training programmes designed to boost the horticulture industry in Wales

A series of new programmes have been launched to support commercial horticulture growers in Wales. For growers looking to appeal to a wider or alternative customer base and retail market. The Farm Assurance Training Series is aimed at growers considering applying for agricultural standards or schemes, including Red Tractor, Soil Association M&S Select Farm and LEAF. Tyfu Cymru’s 12-month Seed Production Training is designed to give growers the tools to grow open pollinated vegetable seed crops competently. The Diversifying into Horticulture Programme, is designed to give farmers the best start into horticulture production. Finally, Tyfu Cymru's Integrated Pest and Disease Management Network will help growers to determine current pest and disease pressures and the need for their prevention and control. Read more

Melting Pot

Celebrating the diversity of the Welsh BAME community with a collection of world recipes

A mouth-watering new collection of recipes bringing together a menu of delicious dishes from around the globe is now available. Entitled ‘The Melting Pot’, the thirty recipes collated by Maggie Ogunbanwo with contributions by members of the minority ethnic community in Wales celebrate the country’s cultural diversity.

Drink Cluster

‘Collective force’ of Wales’ top drinks producers helping to boost sales

A collective of Wales’ best drinks producers have joined forces to launch a sales-driven year-round campaign following the success of a consumer campaign which gave a boost to orders during the Christmas holiday period in 2020.

‘Drink Welsh’, supported by the Welsh Drinks Cluster, will allow consumers to discover the breadth of Welsh drinks available, including wine, beer, cider, spirits, water, soft drinks, health drinks, tea and coffee.

Gift box

Thinking 'inside' the box brings sales boost for producers

By working together Welsh food and drink producers are increasing their slice of the growing online gifting market.

Such has been the success of a collaboration project created to help producers reach festive shoppers, that it has been expanded into 2021.

Open doors

Are you preparing to reopen to the public? Order your free bilingual Open/Closed door signs today

Did you know that you can order free bilingual ‘Open/Closed’ door signs via the Helo Blod website? With restrictions gradually easing and businesses preparing to reopen across Wales it’s the perfect time to order!

Do you have staff who can speak or are learning Welsh? You can order free lanyards and badges which show your customers who can speak or are learning Welsh.

That’s not all Helo Blod offers. Helo Blod can provide free English>Welsh translation, text checking and offer practical advice on how to market and promote your business and make the Welsh language more visible in your shop, café, restaurant and on your website.

Just visit to find out more.


TasteWales/BlasCymru 2021

Save the date - 27-28 October 2021

Blas Cymru

Building on the successes of previous events, BlasCymru/TasteWales 2021 will feature a mix of digital and physical elements and will be the third time that producers, buyers and food industry professionals from across the globe gather at Wales’ signature international food and drink trade event and conference. Opportunities include:

  • Sourcing Welsh food and drink – from branded to private label
  • Product Showcase
  • Meet a wide range of suppliers
  • Time efficient introductory meeting format

To learn more and register your interest visit:

Insight conference

Welsh Food and Drink Insight Conference 2021 - New Trends for Renewed Growth.

Welsh Food and Drink Insight Conference 2021 - New Trends for Renewed Growth. Engaging and informative sessions from Food and Drink industry leaders and experts. Designed to give Welsh businesses valuable and relevant insight, a total of 260 people attended the inaugural virtual conference which was held over 3 days.

To watch these invaluable talks and see more insight, sign up to the Welsh Government Food and Drink members’ area for free access.

Tuck In

Tuck in - Food & Drink Marketing Masterclass

Agile marketing in constant change

Organised by the Food & Drink Wales Fine Food Cluster on behalf of the Food & Drink Industry Board

Tuck in 2021 will be held virtually on Wednesday 14th and 21st April 2021, hosted by Scott James of Coaltown Coffee.


20Twenty Leading Business Growth Programme for the Food Sector

The 20Twenty Business Growth Programme has developed a new unique, exciting and engaging programme for aspiring managers and team leaders which offers a dual award from Cardiff Met University and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). 

FDF Cymru

Automation & Digitalisation in the Food & Drink Industry Event – 24 & 25 March 2021

Join the FDF and our expert speakers for this two-day virtual event exploring the role of Automation & Digitalisation in the Food and Drink Industry.

FDF Cymru

The Food and Drink Federation Awards entry deadline has been extended to Friday 26th March!

The FDF Awards recognise and reward excellence for innovation, competitiveness and talent in the food and drink industry.

Each year, companies from across the food and drink supply chain enter the FDF Awards, and over 500 guests come together to celebrate the winners at the FDF Awards ceremony.

Virtual Cheese Awards

Cheese is the Hero at the Virtual Cheese Awards in association with Food and Drink Wales - Enter Now 

The UK’s pioneering Virtual Cheese Awards in association with Food and Drink Wales is set to return on Friday 7th May 2021 for a second year and continue its support and celebration of Britain’s innovative cheese industry. Entries are open NOW but will be closing on 24th March 2021.

The awards have increased from 300 to 400 individual entries across nine categories making a total of 42 individual classes, so there’s plenty of opportunity to enter your cheese.

The awards will celebrate the rich diversity and quality of local dairy produce and there is a great opportunity for Welsh cheese producers to demonstrate the quality of their delicious and exciting cheeses.

To be in with a chance of winning an award for your Welsh cheese; enter your cheese before 24th March at 


Global Chefs Challenge October 23-26, 2021 in Newport, Wales

The Global Chefs Challenge is where the world’s top chefs meet to compete in three competition categories: the Global Chefs Challenge, the Global Pastry Chefs Challenge, and the Global Young Chefs Challenge.


A look back at 2020: The Export Club and Trade Development Visit Programme

When the World went virtual.

In response to the outbreak of Covid-19 the Export Club issued the first Covid-19 Export Bulletin on 26th March 2020.


Social Media


Food and Drink Wales has a new Social Media account. Follow us on our Facebook account FoodDrinkWales for all things food and drink - news events and more #fooddrinkwales


ABOUT this newsletter

Quarterly newsletter for the Welsh food and drink industry from the Welsh Government's Food Division.  

News, events and matters relating to the industry in Wales.

Find out more on the web:

Follow us on Twitter:



Follow us on Instagram:



Follow us on Facebook: