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Wales celebrates food and drink exports with French culinary showcase

The Welsh Government has heralded France as ‘destination numéro un’ for Welsh food and drink exports at a gastronomic celebration in Lyon.

An industry valued at a delectable £150million to Wales’s economy, the Welsh Government has joined forces with Hybu Cig Cymru, Food Innovation Wales and Welsh food and drink companies to host a delicious showcase event as part of their presence in France during the Rugby World Cup and the Welsh Government’s ‘Wales in France’ initiative.

Wales in France is a year-long celebration of cultural, business and sporting events designed to strengthen existing links and forge new connections between the two countries.

Today’s event [Monday 25 September], which took place at the prestigious Cite Internationale de la Gastronomie in Lyon, brought together the best of Welsh cuisine, culinary and cultural talents, including producers such as Penderyn Distillery, Snowdonia Cheese Company and Cwm Farm Charcuterie.

Lyon is one of Welsh Government’s focal cities during the Rugby World Cup thanks to the region’s global gastro centre and status as France’s second city. The area is also known for its similar values to Wales with an emphasis on inclusion, diversity and sustainability.

France is not only the number one destination for Wales’ food and drink exports, but it is also Wales’ second largest inward investor and fourth largest export destination for all goods. There are around 81 French-owned businesses in Wales employing over 10,000 people.

The Minister for Finance, Rebecca Evans presided over the event, which featured:

  • Gastronomic delights: a host of stalls showcased a wide range of Welsh food products which have found their way onto French dining tables. From cheeses to meats, attendees had the opportunity to sample and learn about these exceptional offerings
  • Culinary showcases: a live cooking demonstration, led by talented Welsh chef Elwen Roberts
  • Cultural arts: captivating performances by the renowned Urdd choir Cor Hafodwenog, and contemporary dance group Qwerin – both showing the rich diversity of Welsh culture.

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“This showcase is not just a celebration of our thriving food and drink industry but also a testament to the strong ties between Wales and France. It’s a moment to savour the flavours of Wales and to build lasting connections that will further enhance our exports.”

The Welsh Government will have a presence at a variety of cultural activities in France across the duration of the Rugby World Cup, as the world’s third largest sporting event takes place in the country until the end of October.