Welsh food centres team up to support £7bn plan

By John Wood

- Last updated on GMT

Wales backs £7bn growth plan
Wales backs £7bn growth plan
Wales’s three food centres are to collaborate to support the Welsh government’s Food and Drink Action Plan to grow the sector by 30% to £7bn by the year 2020.

Zero2Five Food Industry Centre, Food Centre Wales and the Food Technology Centre have launched Food Innovation Wales (FIW), a body which will use its expertise and access to the food processing sector to help create new food products and facilitate access to new markets through technical knowledge transfer.

The Food Technology Centre and Zero2Five already collaborate on a knowledge transfer initiative, the KITE (Knowledge Innovation Technology Exchange) Project, which has helped add £80M to the turnovers of participating companies since 2009.

David Lloyd, director of Zero2Five Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: “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.

Strategic targets

“Its strategic targets will encompass both Welsh and international partners to ensure global knowledge exchange, whether 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. It 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, manager of the Food Technology Centre at Coleg Menai technical college, said: “Food Innovation Wales brings together significant skills and expertise that collectively have 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 and drink sector, including research and development, technical advice, new product development, knowledge transfer and training courses tailored specifically for clients.”

Aspiration

Commenting at the FIW launch, Welsh government deputy minister for food and farming Rebecca Evans said: “The Welsh government’s aspiration of growing sales in the food and drink sector by 30% to £7bn 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.

“This memorandum of understanding between the centres will further strengthen our offer as a food and drink nation for both domestic and international food and drink businesses.”

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