Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has today confirmed that work is already underway with the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board to develop a successor Food and Drink Action plan.
Speaking at the National Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee, the Cabinet Secretary confirmed that the new plan will build on the success of ‘Towards Sustainable Growth’, which ends in December 2019.
The Cabinet Secretary urged everyone with an interest in the future of the sector to get involved and share their views on how the sector needs to develop and where it needs to be through to 2025.
Since the introduction of the original action Plan in 2014, there has been considerable growth in the turnover value of the food and farming sector, with exports also growing strongly and passing the half billion mark for the first time in 2017.
The food and drinks industry is a globally renowned sector, with 165 Great Taste Winners in 2017 and 15 products now holding EU protected food name status.
Cabinet Secretary said: “Food and Drink is a foundation sector for Wales and now more than ever, it is important that we ensure the industry is strong and robust to thrive in a post-Brexit world. It is also important that businesses have the capacity, support and resources in place to make the most of their opportunities to grow.
“That is why we have already begun work on a successor Food and Drink Action plan, working collaboratively with the Board. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of the sector to share their views with us over the coming months as we develop our proposals further.”
Andy Richardson, Chair of the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board said: “The board is committed to engaging with Welsh food and drink businesses, with a strong focus on growth, innovation and adding value.“We are looking to refresh our activities in order they remain relevant and flexible to respond to the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Above all we want to drive the continued growth of the sector and reinforce Wales’ position as a leading provider of healthy, nutritious and exciting food and drink.”