Sustainability high on the agenda for Welsh food and drink companies

Five Welsh food and drink companies are preparing to attend the Sustainable Foods London Conference this week (30-31 March) as part of the Food & Drink Wales Sustainability Cluster, all looking to showcase the work being done in Wales to create a sustainable future.

As part of the Welsh Government’s overall strategic food and drink vision, the Sustainability Cluster was launched in January 2020 to support and develop sustainable business practices across Wales’ agri-food industry.

Using the triple helix approach of government, industry and academia working hand in hand to tackle common industry problems, the Sustainability Cluster has grown to 95 producers, along with government bodies and 30 academic organisations. The cluster is the central hub, providing intelligence to businesses, becoming the eyes and ears of the industry developing networks and industry expertise to help Wales become a world leader in sustainability.

Supported by the Welsh Government, Sustainable Foods London is the first event that the Sustainability Cluster has attended as a delegation of producers. All five Welsh companies attending are already B-Corp or on their way to being B-Corp accredited with the assistance from the Sustainability Cluster programme.

A shining example of the move to B-Corp is Welsh alcohol-free brewery Drop Bear Beer Co. The brewery has recently become Wales’ first and the UK’s eighth B-Corp brewery. Founded in 2019 by Joelle Drummond and Sarah McNena, the Swansea brewery has placed sustainability at the heart of its operation since its inception.

Commenting co-founder Joelle Drummond said, “We are incredibly proud to become Wales’ first B-Corp brewery. Our mission is to brew the best alcohol-free craft beers and help build a better world in which to drink it, so as you can imagine, achieving B-Corp status is incredibly important to us.

“We all have a responsibility to take action and do so now. Our customers want to shop more sustainably and we want to be able to reassure them that we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. B-Corp status helps authenticate our claims and build trust with consumers.”

Following a rigorous certification process, the prestigious accreditation signifies a business meets the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and accountability.

The designation makes Drop Bear Beer Wales’ tenth food and drink B-Corp company. It aligns perfectly with the Welsh Government’s vision for the food and drink industry and the aim of creating one of the most environmentally and socially responsible supply chains in the world.

Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd Lesley Griffiths  said, We are  committed to helping Welsh food and drink businesses focus on sustainable growth and productivity, their climate and ecological impact as well as fair work and raising standards throughout the industry. We want Wales to be one of the most environmentally and socially responsible supply chains in the world as well as continuing to have a global reputation for excellence.”

Also on the stand will be Pembrokeshire-based The Welsh Saucery, producers of sauces and spice mixes, all made using wholesome ingredients and natural preservatives. The company is owned by Steve and Kara Lewis who also run Pembrokeshire Lamb.

The pair believe in fostering sustainable values to ensure animal welfare and preservation of the land they use, as Steve Lewis comments, “We are committed to sustainable ways of doing business which is why we are conscious to ensure everything we do is both environmentally and ethically correct. By caring for our natural resources we give our animals the essential nourishment needed to ensure our products are fresh and sustainably farmed with ethical practise in mind.”

In addition to Drop Bear Beer and The Welsh Saucery, Still Wild Drinks, APRTF and Radnor Preserves will also be attending the event and showcasing their brands on the Welsh Sustainability Cluster stand.

The Sustainable Foods London Conference, now in its second year, brings together the most innovative sustainable food brands and entrepreneurs with like-minded global investors, buyers and consultants.

Sustainable Food London will take place on 30-31 March at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London.

For more information on the Welsh Food and Drink Sustainability Cluster, please contact Mark Grant at mark.grant@levercliff.co.uk.

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