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3 April 2024

Help to Make Your Food and Drink Business More Sustainable


With today’s consumers increasingly favouring suppliers that demonstrate ethical and environmental practices, Welsh Government is taking proactive steps to support its food and drink businesses in achieving their sustainable goals and reaping the subsequent rewards.

Through programmes such as Food and Drink Skills Wales/Sgiliau Bwyd a Diod Cymru, Welsh Government works closely with businesses of all sizes to identify skill shortages and opportunities to upskill the workforce.

The Welsh Food and Drink Sustainability Cluster supports and develops sustainable practices across the agri-food industry by using the successful triple helix approach with government, industry and academia.

With over a hundred members from across the industry, along with government bodies and 30 academic organisations, one of the ways it has been helping develop sustainable practices is supporting food and drink businesses achieve B Corp status.

Other support available for businesses includes decarbonisation workshops, sustainability workshops, a sustainability handbook, and a self-assessment tool that helps benchmark current sustainability performance and details areas for improvement.

Several organisations are working collaboratively to drive positive change. These partners include the likes of Food Innovation Wales, with their three pan-Wales centres working closely with food and drink companies through Project HELIX.

The three Food Centres in Wales, namely Food Technology Centre, Food Centre Wales and ZERO2FIVE work closely with food and drink companies through Project HELIX to help them grow, innovate, compete, and reach new markets.

Also supporting businesses to be more efficient with their manufacturing processes and to reach their net zero goals is AMRC Cymru. Part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, AMRC Cymru also works with Food and Drink Wales and is engaged on several innovative sustainability projects in Wales.

Established in 2010, FareShare Cymru is part of a network of 25 similar centres located across the UK, delivering quality, in date surplus food, which would otherwise have gone to waste, to those in need. Volunteers are crucial to the company’s work, helping turn an environmental problem into a social solution.

The company began delivering food in July 2011 and has since extended its focus beyond just providing food. Working with over 170 organisations that address the underlying causes of hunger, all while reducing the environmental impact of food waste in Wales, FareShare Cymru seeks to create lasting solutions.

Delivering a Wales-specific package of work, WRAP Cymru also supports the environmental goals of Welsh Government. Established as part of WRAP, which works with governments, businesses, and citizens in over 40 countries, WRAP Cymru takes a comprehensive approach, considering the entire system and creates solutions that work together in tackling the causes of the climate crisis.

It also operates the Collaborative Change Programme, assisting local authorities in Wales to meet the statutory recycling targets. Supplementing this is the Wales Recycles campaign, which encourages citizens to adopt positive recycling behaviours.

While research organisations, third sector organisations, health boards and business of any size can access Circular Economy Funding to increase the use of recycled and re-used content in products or components or to extend the lifetime of products / materials, WRAP’s Wales Food Waste Roadmap identifies a suite of interventions which could deliver reductions in food waste across the supply chain.

AberInnovation offers world-leading expertise and state of the art facilities within the biotechnology, agri-tech, and food and drink sectors at its Innovation and Enterprise Campus. With an ideal environment for industrial and academic collaboration to flourish, AberInnovation can accelerate a company’s route to market by facilitating new product and process development and de-risking R&D activities.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF Cymru) is a not-for-profit association that champions food and drink manufacturers across Wales. Bringing together business, government and stakeholders to ensure our manufacturers have the right conditions to grow, invest and employ, while continuing to produce high quality, nutritious and affordable food and drink.

As part of its work, the FDF has produced a Net Zero Handbook for sector stakeholders and policymakers which outlines how it, and the wider food and drink sector, are contributing to deliver net zero.

The Development Bank of Wales Green Business Loan Scheme works to directly address common problems and provides Welsh businesses a package of support that helps reduce carbon emissions and allows businesses to save on future energy bills.

This includes access to fully and part-funded consultancy support that helps businesses understand their own path to decarbonisation including discounted fixed interest rates on green business loans for energy efficiency measures and low carbon heat installations.

In partnership with Toyota Lean Management Centre at Deeside, the Toyota Lean Clusters Programme offers assistance for companies that want to make sustainable improvements in their competitiveness.

Support is available to businesses across Wales, whether micro, medium-sized entities, or divisions of larger companies, to adapt and transform practices, enhance environmental credentials thereby minimising impact on the planet.

Find out more on how you can help make your food and drink business more sustainable: food-drink.wales/business/


 



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