Over a hundred leading Welsh producers are set to be joined by national and international buyers, journalists, dignitaries and industry leaders at Wales’s first ever food and drink event that’s aimed at both the UK and world market. Organised by the Welsh Government’s Food Division, BlasCymru/TasteWales takes place at the prestigious Celtic Manor resort on 23-24 March, and will bring the industry under one roof to showcase the best of the nation’s growing food and drink offer.
Following a high-level dinner featuring senior individuals from the UK food and drink industry and their international counterparts, the two-day event will give trade buyers the chance to meet food and drink producers from across Wales. Confirmed international attendees include buyers from as far afield as the United States, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates, who will join UK retailers and wholesalers and give producers the opportunity to conduct one-to-one meetings and develop further business and professional partnerships.
Chaired by BBC News presenter Sara Edwards, the first day features a conference with key industry figures, who will be analysing a range of hot topics facing the industry including the latest market trends. The Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, will be hosting the event and will discuss the importance of the industry for Wales along with announcing a number of exciting developments within the sector. Commenting on the ambitious aims of the event, the Cabinet Secretary said:
“BlasCymru/TasteWales is a ground breaking event for Wales and will further strengthen our food and drink industry on the Global stage. Bringing individuals and organisations from across the industry together, it will provide the platform for us to display the strength, success and pride we have in Welsh food and drink and help us continue with the positive trajectory we are currently on as we strive to reach our 30% growth target by 2020.”
Andy Richardson, who is Chair of the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board, added:
“I’m delighted to see the industry showcase our offer on an international stage. We look forward to welcoming key buyers from across the world to the Celtic Manor during this two day event. The Food and Drink Wales Industry Board is passionate about driving the sector forward as we reach ever closer to our 2020 target.”
With over a hundred companies from right across Wales in attendance, a range of products and creations to satisfy all tastes will be on show, not to mention a number of new product launches.
These include niche and artisan producers such as Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company and specialist meat curers Cwm Farm Charcuterie, who will join established household favourites such as Edwards of Conwy, Penderyn whisky and Snowdonia cheese, as well as larger manufacturing businesses such as Fruitapeel and Radnor Hills.
One of the producers at the event will be Alana Spencer, the BBC Apprentice 2016 winner and new partner of business tycoon Lord Sugar exhibiting their new venture, Ridiculously Rich by Alana, for the first time since her recent victory:
“It’s not only exciting to be involved in such a showcase of producers in Wales but also a great opportunity to develop business partnerships and build success. It’s rare to have so many senior buyers from retailers and wholesalers and I am very much looking forward to the opportunities it will bring.”
Flying in from the United States will be John Rodger from Atalanta Corporation, who is very much looking forward to seeing what Welsh delights are on offer:
“Wales is carving out a growing international reputation as a top food destination with plenty of high quality producers. While at BlasCymru/TasteWales I’ll be on the lookout for new and innovative products, with it also being an excellent opportunity to forge new partnerships, and all under one roof.”