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Virtual Winter Fair Food Hall goes live

Credit: Cywain

The Food Hall is always a ‘must see’ for visitors at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, and this year is no exception as the event goes ‘virtual’.

Following in the immensely successful footsteps of its summer sibling, the Winter Fair is being held online and includes a dedicated Food Hall area packed with Welsh food and drink producers.

Creating a virtual event has brought a bonus for shoppers, as the Food Hall section of the Winter Fair website has gone live ahead of next week’s main Winter Fair days (November 30th & December 1st). Not only that, but people will be able to continue browsing and buying in the run-up to Christmas!

Traditionally, Cywain features a variety of up and coming companies on its Food Hall stand. For the majority of this year’s producers, the virtual Winter Fair will be their first selling experience on this scale, and via an online medium.

Cywain has been helping producers to meet the requirements of selling in a virtual world, with a wide range of expert support designed to improve their online-sales skills and delivered through a programme of webinars and virtual one-to-one sessions.

Dewi Evans, Cywain Project Manager, said, “Cywain has long been supporting producers to develop their online presence. But, Covid-19 has escalated the need for Welsh food and drink producers to be as tech-savvy as possible. We help them to make the most of the alternative sales platforms presented by social media and digital marketing and to develop strategies to take advantage of opportunities such as the virtual Winter Fair.”

Showgoers can access the Fair’s virtual Food Hall through a dedicated online portal (https://winterfair.royalwelsh.digital/). Once there, they can browse a fantastic assortment of Welsh food and drink, and by clicking on an individual producer can find product and ordering information.

Among this year’s featured Cywain producers are: Alfie’s Coffee Bus, Black Mountains Preserves, Bossa Nova, Clwydian Range Distillery, Crwst, Derw Coffee, FudgePots, Peterston Tea Estate, The Gluten Free Baking Co., The Mallow Tailor, Treganna Gin, and Woodsend Christmas Puddings.

Rebecca Marston makes her luxury, handmade Woodsend Christmas Puddings near Pembroke. She said, “I’m delighted to be part of Cywain’s virtual Winter Fair stand. It’s a fabulous opportunity, especially as it is my first year of trading.”

Said Lucy George of Vale of Glamorgan-based Peterston Tea Estate, “The virtual Winter Fair is a fantastic opportunity to showcase small producers to a wide audience, and we’re delighted to be part of it.”

“We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to showcase Cariad Gin at this fabulous food and drink event,” said Fiona Lewis from the Clwydian Range Distillery in Flintshire.

Helen Dunne of Black Mountains Preserves in Talgarth said, “When I launched in March, I had no idea what an extraordinary and challenging year this would be. I have had to learn to adapt and embrace doing things a little bit differently in 2020!

So, to be a part of something so established like the Winter Fair is an honour and I’d like to thank Cywain for the opportunity of being able to take part in this new virtual venture.”

Meanwhile, four of the featured producers – Black Mountains Smokery, Blas ar Fwyd, Cwmfarm Charcuterie Products, and Rhug Estate Organic Farm – are offering gift boxes and hampers, specially created as part of a Food & Drink Wales Fine Food Cluster collaboration.

Bursting with exciting product combinations; the gift boxes and hampers are available in an assortment of sizes and prices and are sure to suit all pockets and tastes.

“It’s such an exciting event,” said Gwenllian Deiniol, of Llanrwst-based Blas ar Fwyd. “We’re looking forward to participating and reaching a wide audience, including those who do not usually attend the Winter Fair.”