While this year’s St David’s Day (1 March) will be a very different occasion to the norm, the Welsh Government’s Food Division has nevertheless been busily collaborating with a host of organisations as it promotes the nation’s award-winning produce across the world.
Leading the charge in showcasing the best that Wales has to offer will be celebrity chef Bryn Williams, who will be hosting a ‘cook-along’ packed with tasty Welsh produce as part of a 72-hour digital festival that will be taking place across online channels as the celebrations are taken to a global audience.
In addition, almost 100 producers and retailers across the country are taking part in a digital drive to raise awareness of the food and drink that Wales has to offer under the #LoveWalesLoveTaste #CaruCymruCaruBlas banner, which builds on a campaign launched last summer to encourage consumers to support Welsh food and drink producers during the current difficult climate.
As part of this, almost 20 new recipes have been launched that challenge the accepted orthodoxy of what constitutes a traditional Welsh meal. Those who think that Welsh food and drink is about Welsh cakes and cawl should think again, with the modern Welsh foodie able to enjoy feasts including cockles, mussels, bacon and samphire in cider or finger-licking lamb with laverbread and herbs.
Meanwhile, on the international stage organisations such as Wales Week London and Wales Week Worldwide have taken their usual events online due to the current restrictions, and will play host to a series of cookery demonstrations, talks and competitions as the very best of Welsh food and drink is showcased to a global audience.
Commenting on the wide range of activities taking place in spite of the difficult circumstances, Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said:
“It is more important than ever this St David’s Day that we continue to support Welsh food and drink businesses as many have faced tremendously difficult challenges over the past year or so.
“I’m delighted to see such a broad range of different activities taking place to promote our thriving industry, and it really is testament to its strength and vibrancy that we can put on such a celebration despite the current situation.
“We have a long and proud tradition of producing outstanding food and drink, with an abundance of natural resources and food ingredients, and a concerted focus on developing new technologies and innovation in food production.”
The activity is hot on the heels of the launch last week of a strategic vision for the industry to becoming a leading light in producing sustainable food and drink.
Working closely with the industry, Welsh Government’s vision seeks to place sustainable practices at the heart of the industry’s post-Covid recovery. Focusing on areas such as growth and productivity, environmental impact, fair work and raising standards throughout, by working collaboratively it is hoped that government and industry can create one of the most environmentally and socially responsible supply chains in the world.
The announcement comes following extensive preparation work that has been ongoing in recent years to build the foundation blocks for the ‘green shoots’ strategic vision emerging out of the joint disruption caused by Brexit and Covid-19.
Further information on all the activities can be found at www.gov.wales/foodanddrinkwales