The Welsh Food and drinks industry turnover has increased strongly to £6.9bn and is edging ever nearer to meeting ambitious targets for the sector.
Speaking during plenary, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said the industry is thriving and stands on the edge of meeting the target of £7bn turnover by 2020.
The Cabinet Secretary also spoke of the challenges and opportunities Brexit presents and outlined how the Welsh Government is working with the sector to overcome these.
Cabinet Secretary said: “Our Welsh food and drink industry continues to go from strength to strength. With the industry’s sales turnover increasing from £6.1bn to £6.9bn, we stand on the threshold of reaching our Food and Drink Action Plan target of £7bn by 2020 early.
“This is tremendous progress and we’ve seen great success since the Plan was published in 2014. It reflects the hard work and significant progress by businesses across Wales, large and small.
“The interest in our wonderful Welsh food and drink has never been greater. The quality, service and originality of the Welsh offer are recognised across the World.
“Wales’ food and drink industry is a huge asset. It contributes increasingly to our economy, creating jobs and careers where skills matter. It adds value to our agricultural produce and it brings prestige to our nation with a growing profile and reputation throughout the World. Wales has a winner.
“However, we cannot ignore the challenges and uncertainty Brexit presents. To maintain the momentum we have achieved to date, we must embrace change and seek any opportunities that arise.
“Through continued focus on building on what works, and through a readiness for Brexit, we will be fully ‘fit for market’ with industry well placed for optimal performance. I have every confidence we will continue to succeed and make the best of Brexit and deliver for Wales.”