The programme, Project Helix, is designed to provide funding and support for small and medium-sized food manufacturers to help boost production and reduce food waste.
The Project – funded through the Rural Development Programme – is expected to create 370 new jobs, mainly in rural Wales and the Valleys, while safeguarding 2,000 jobs over the next five years.
The Welsh government hoped the project would help generate £100M for the local economy.
Project Helix was launched at The Welsh government’s TasteWales event this week (March 23). It will support food manufacturers in three areas over the next five years: innovation, efficiency and strategy.
‘Achieve growth of 30% by 2020’
Welsh cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs Lesley Griffiths said: “We’ve set ambitious targets for the food and drink industry to achieve growth of 30% by 2020 and I am pleased to say we are firmly on course to meet that target.
Project Helix – three areas of support
- Innovation – fast-tracking new innovative products and food company start-ups
- Efficiency – assisting businesses to reduce waste during food processing, thereby securing costs savings and waste reduction
- Strategy – seeking to ensure a world-class industry through advanced skills in key areas, such as food technology.
“Project Helix is the next step on the journey to ensure our food and drink industry is globally recognised for quality, creativity and skills.”
The programme was developed by Food Innovation Wales, a partnership of the three food centres in the region – Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Zero2Five Food Industry Centre, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai and Food Centre Wales.
‘Put wales on the global food and drink map’
Zero2Five’s David Lloyd said: “Our aim is to put Wales on the global food and drink map and to do that, Helix will provide high levels of support, such as identifying business people who want to invest or advising food manufacturers on technical standards and regulations.”
Eirlys Lloyd of Food Centre Wales said there was a huge potential for the Welsh food and drink sector to improve and realise it growth targets.
“Through the Helix project we will support businesses in Wales to analyse their entire operation and strategically plan every element, including industrial manufacturing, food processing, public engagement and skills training and development,” she said.