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New Awards to Shine a Spotlight on Food and Drink Industry in Wales

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A new awards scheme has been launched to shine a spotlight on businesses that champion Welsh food and drink and those that are driving the sector in Wales towards further growth.

The Wales Food and Drink Awards will take place on 13 May 2022 at The Mercure Hotel in Cardiff. These national awards have been established to celebrate and provide a platform for Welsh producers. They will highlight both the diversity of the sector and showcase its success stories: companies that are scaling up, innovating, creating employment and who will be an inspiration to others.

The exciting Welsh food and drink sector is constantly developing. Producers are striving for great taste and there has increasingly been a drive to recognise the impact of their products on the environment, with more seeking to work in sustainable ways.

Reputation and standards within the Welsh Food and Drink sector are continually being raised and producers have demonstrated both their professionalism and resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have provided lifelines to local communities; others have sought out new ways of marketing and supplying their produce.

Whatever their scale, those within the sector have shown their commitment to creating excellent Welsh products, while enhancing a brand that is associated with great quality and taste by both consumers here in Wales, those across the UK and globally.

Castell Howell, Wales’ leading independent foodservice wholesaler, is headline sponsor for these inaugural awards.

Kathryn Jones, Sales and Marketing Director said:

“We’re proud to sponsor the inaugural Wales Food & Drink Awards.  Supporting Welsh manufacturers is fundamental to our business, the wider economy and the communities where they are based. An opportunity to celebrate their achievements and success will undoubtedly help further promote the best of Welsh produce to customers in Wales, and further afield’

The awards are also sponsored by: Cambrian Training Company, HSBC, Hugh James, Jones Village Bakery, Culinary Association of Wales, and Welsh Government and the Food and Drink Board Wales.

There are thirteen categories to enter and two judges-choice categories:

1.     Wales Food & Drink Start-Up of the Year

2.     Wales Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year

3.     Wales Food & Drink Exporter of the Year

4.     Wales Food & Drink Apprentice of the Year

5.     Wales Food & Drink Innovation Award

6.     Wales Food & Drink Sustainable Values Award

7.     Wales Food & Drink Rising Star of the Year

8.     Wales Food & Drink Scale up Company of the Year

9.     Wales Food & Drink Community Award

10.  Wales Food Producer of the Year

11.  Wales Drinks Producer of the year

12.  Wales Food & Drink Artisan Business of the Year

13.  Covid-19 Resilience Award

Judges Choice:

14.  Wales Food and Drink Champion of the Year

15.  Overall Welsh Food & Drink Producer of the Year/Lifetime Achievement Award.

Robin Jones, Managing Director of the Jones Village Bakery and Chair of Judges, said:

“The Wales Food and Drink Awards will play an important part in the culinary calendar.

The event will help encourage our producers to constantly strive for excellence in everything we do and provides a fantastic showcase and a sales platform for Welsh food and drink.”

Liz Brookes, co-founder of the awards and Managing Director of Grapevine Event Management, said:

“We are thrilled to be launching these inaugural awards in this exciting industry, it’s a great opportunity to recognise the importance of the Food and Drink Sector in Wales and create a milestone event in the Welsh Food and Drink Calendar.”

Entries are now open and the deadline to enter is Friday 8 April 2022.

For more information visit: www.foodanddrinkawards.wales