Growing the Welsh food and drink industry’s value to £8.5bn and increasing the number of employees in the sector who receive the Welsh Living Wage to 80%, both by 2025, are at the heart of a new Welsh Government vision.
Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths made the announcement as she visited the Royal Welsh Winter Fair which returns after being cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A Vision for the Food & Drink industry from 2021 will build on the sector’s success in Wales with the key aim of helping ensure a flourishing food and drink industry with a global reputation for excellence.
The Vision’s objectives include:
- Every year the turnover value of Wales’ food and drink sector will proportionately grow more than the rest of the UK, and to at least £8.5bn by 2025.
- The three-year average of Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked in the industry will increase proportionately more than the rest of the UK.
- Every year, the proportion of food and drink sector employees receiving at least the Welsh Living Wage will increase, to achieve 80% by 2025.
- Every year, there will be an increase in the proportion of manufacturing businesses in the industry holding accreditation (e.g. environmental management, staff development, production and other relevant standards).
- Every year, there will be an increase in the proportion of businesses in the food and drink manufacturing sector achieving awards appropriate to their business. By 2025 at least six more Welsh products will join the UK GI Scheme.
- 98% of businesses will have a food hygiene rating of 5 by 2025.
The Vision is aimed at every business in the industry from retail and exporters to tourism, from brewers and bakers to manufacturers and processors.
During the period of the last Welsh Government strategy, 2014–2020, a 30% growth was achieved with record sales of £7.5bn being reached by 2019, exceeding the target of £7bn by 2020. There was also £550m in exports, increased from £408m.
In addition, a Decarbonisation Action Plan is being developed for the food and drink manufacturing industry which will be crucial in helping the food and drink industry to decarbonise and maximise opportunities the transition to Net Zero Wales provides.
Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said:
“It’s great to be back at the Winter Fair and I’m really looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces.
“Much has happened since the last event and there is still plenty I want to achieve which is why I am delighted to be launching our new vision for the sector.
“We have a vibrant and successful food and drink sector here in Wales which I am immensely proud of.
“At the heart of everything we have achieved has been a true partnership between business, academia and government. In 2019 we asked the industry to help us shape a new vision. A huge thank you to the many businesses who gave their time, insight and opinions which has helped to shape this new vision.
“The food and drink industry has a vital role to play in the evolution of the Welsh economy and there is a strong desire to maintain this momentum. We are clear the objectives set out here are just the beginning. This is vital to build on our shared success.
“We cannot ignore the effects of Covid-19 and the UK leaving the European Union. Both continue to impact the industry, and wider society. We must not let either, however challenging, detract from our long-term goals which are promoting growth and productivity, promoting fairness in work, ensuring businesses reach for the highest levels of environmental sustainability and helping them achieve this through enhancing their reputation and standards. Everything our new vision hopes to achieve.”