· Food professionals from across the globe attend two-day food and drink trade extravaganza at the ICCW, Newport
· New products are being launched by leading Welsh producers, in what is expected to result in millions of pounds of sales
· Also being launched this year are products associated with Welsh celebrities, such as Katherine Jenkins, Alun Wyn Jones, Mike Phillips, James Hook, Shane Williams, Lee Byrne and Richard Hibbard
More than 200 new food and drink products by Welsh businesses went on show at the ICC Wales in Newport.
Organised by Food & Drink Wales (Welsh Government) and held bi-annually, BlasCymru/TasteWales will be the fourth international food and drink trade event for Welsh companies. Featuring thousands of meetings and hundreds of industry professionals from across the globe, the event is expected to result in millions of pounds worth of sales for producers.
This year’s event features some of Wales’ leading celebrities, who have branched out into the nation’s growing food and drink industry. These include a new drink from singer Katherine Jenkins’ Cygnet gin company.
Meanwhile, there will also be plenty of former Wales rugby stars represented with Alun Wyn Jones’ ‘Mimosa Rum Espiritu’ and Richard Hibbard’s spiced black cherry rum. Meanwhile, Mike Phillips, James Hook, Shane Williams, Lee Byrne’s Fab Four coffee company will be launching their new ‘Grand Slam’ coffee blend.
However, the event is about far more than celebrities, with over two hundred new products reflecting the diverse flavours of Wales’ innovative culinary scene. These include vegan burgers, sparkling teas, venison jerky, Ukrainian sunflower honey, black garlic ketchup, cucumber fridge pickles and much more.
The diverse offer is in part thanks to initiatives put in place by Food & Drink Wales over recent years, such as their Cluster Network approach that brings like-minded businesses together to share best practice and develop new ideas. This has been boosted further by the support on offer to start-ups via Cywain and the innovation focussed Food Innovation Wales.
One of the companies at the event is Puffin Produce, who are showcasing their carbon neutral ‘Root Zero Baby Potatoes’. Managing Director Huw Thomas said, “We are grateful for BlasCymru/TasteWales, which gives Welsh food and drink companies an unrivalled platform to showcase their produce to the world.
“There is so much good work taking place in Wales and it is only right that the world sits up and takes notice. At Puffin, we’re extremely proud of the work that we’ve been doing over the last decade with our growers, including the introduction of the Puffin Carbon Farm Management Scheme, which enables us to adapt our farming practices and work collaboratively to address the issues we all face around climate change.
“The climate emergency is an issue that is important to us, which is reinforced by our ambitious target setting across the business more latterly SBTi and the 2040 Net Zero targets we’ve introduced. I know this is something that is taken very seriously by the Welsh food and drink industry widely, as we work together to create a more environmentally friendly supply chain.”
Figures released over the summer show that Welsh food and drink exports to new and existing markets have grown in Wales at a faster rate than the rest of the UK, with the Welsh Government targeting more new markets to enable the industry to flourish.
Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, said: “I am proud of our diverse food and drink industry, which continues to go from strength to strength.
“It is great to see more and more people from around the world enjoying Welsh food and drink with exports between 2020 and 2022 up by 44% compared with 16% for the UK overall.
“There will be more than 200 new food and drink products made in Wales on show at this year’s BlasCymru/TasteWales which is a testament to the innovation, commitment and desire Welsh businesses keep showing. We have a strong story to tell and first-class products to sell.”
For more information on this year’s BlasCymru/TasteWales event visit https://www.tastewales.com/