Food innovation is key to delivering £7bn government target for the industry

Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Food & Farming, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the launch of Food Innovation Wales and its aspirations to support the Food and Drink Action Plan in meeting its growth plans of 30% by the year 2020.

Wales’s three food centres have re-launched themselves as Food Innovation Wales, a body which will use its expertise and unrivalled access to the food processing sector to create not only new food products but facilitate access to new markets through technical knowledge transfer.

Commenting at the recent launch Deputy Minister for Food & Farming, Rebecca Evans AM, said:

“The Welsh Government’s aspirations of growing sales in the food and drink sector by 30% to £7 billion by the year 2020 is certainly an ambitious one. However, Food Innovation Wales’s role as an incubator for increased product innovation and efficiency in the industry is core to providing a strong platform for future growth. I’m delighted therefore to see this memorandum of understanding between the centres which will help further strengthen our offer as a food and drink nation for both domestic and international food and drink businesses.”

Research undertaken and published by the food centres highlights the urgent need for increased innovation and professionalism across the industry as 73% of food companies in Wales do not export whilst 78% also stated that they were not operating at full capacity.

David Lloyd from Zero2Five Food Industry Centres added:

“The Food Innovation Wales brand will cement the activity of the centres and allow a focus on critical areas while also ensuring a pan Wales delivery. Its strategic targets will encompass both Welsh and international partners to ensure global knowledge exchange, whether that be in technical systems, hygiene practices or food law.”

Eirlys Lloyd, Food Centre Wales Manager added:

“We welcome the opportunity to be a key player in FIW which will strengthen our commitment to work in collaboration in improving and adding value in the Welsh supply chain to become more innovative. Our priority is to encourage economic growth of the sector through the exploitation of that innovation.”

Martin Jardine, Food Technology Centre Manager said:

“Food Innovation Wales brings together significant skills and expertise that collectively has 57 years of experience in supporting the Food and Drink sector in Wales. The resources housed within the three centres provide a range of services to the Welsh Food & Drink sector, including research and development, technical advice, new product development, knowledge transfer and training courses tailored specifically for clients.”