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Ministerial visit for innovative food and drink producers

Wye Valley Producers Pic:Tom Martin © WALES NEWS SERVICE

Tuesday (25 August) saw the visit of the Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths to the Wye Valley Meadery to see at first hand the work undertaken by the Wye Valley Producers Group during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group is a collaboration of the Wye Valley’s finest, award winning food and drink producers who have come together to offer a no contact, click & collect farmers market for a Friday drive through collection service, giving local residents easy and safe access to local products.

Angharad Underwood from The Preservation Society, one of the Wye Valley Producers group said,

“We are currently selling via an online click & collect for a Friday drive through. We also post boxes of deliciousness and our long term plan is to have a permanent base and promote stockists of Wye Valley Producers. We are arranging events, sharing event attendance and planning a collaborated ‘one stop shop’ ordering system for outlets to buy from us all with a coordinated logistical delivery system.”

Producers of the Wye Valley Producers group include Cinderhill Farm, Untapped Brewery, Gorsley Growers, Sourdough by Hill Farm Barn, Isabels Bakehouse, Netherend Farm Butter, Hollow Ash Orchard, Wye Valley Meadery, The Preservation Society, Silver Circle Distillery, Brooke’s Wye Valley Dairy Co., Cottage Sweets, Kontext Coffee Company, Chilli Rogues, Parva Spices, Humble by Nature, Kingstone Brewery and Orchard’s Cider.

Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said,

“I was delighted to be invited to the Wye Valley Meadery and to meet with the Wye Valley Producers to hear of the work that they have been doing to help the local community by coming together to offer a service that is safe and easy during this challenging time.

“A lot of our Welsh food and drink businesses have had their plans for this year disrupted and they have had to adapt to survive. This shows great determination and as Welsh Government we will endeavour to support our crucial food and drink industry as we rebuild the economy.”

During the visit the Minister met with a number of the Wye Valley Producers, where she also sampled a range of their products and was given a hamper to take home.

Lesley Griffiths was also provided with an overview of the support offered to the Wye Valley Producer Group via the Welsh Government’s Fine Food & Drink Wales Cluster network, which aims to help Welsh food and drink producers to grow.

Commenting further Angharad Underwood from The Preservation Society said “The Fine Food Cluster has been absolutely brilliant, helping to facilitate and support the development of the Wye Valley Producer Group. Practical support has been provided to realise the idea and identify solutions for issues”.  

The Fine Food & Drink Wales Cluster brings together a range of food and drink producers, which have high quality products with ambition to grow alongside commercial, government and academic partners. It provides opportunities to work with other businesses to overcome obstacles to growth and exploit commercial opportunities.