The hotlines have been established to enable businesses to access help with business planning and finance, export, technical aspects of food production, new product development and trade development.
In addition, the group has produced a downloadable ‘resilience self-assessment’ to help companies determine their preparedness for dealing with current and future economic challenges. The assessment directs manufacturers to the relevant external support based on the strengths and weaknesses identified.
Welsh minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “During these challenging times we want to offer the best support for the food and drink sector in Wales. The COVID-19 Resilience Group has developed a number of initiatives to support the food and drink sector in Wales and the hotlines and company self-assessment are just the start.”
The COVID-19 Resilience Group was set up to support the delivery of the COVID-19 Recovery Plan created in collaboration between the Food & Drink Wales Industry Board and the Welsh Government. The group comprises a range of specialist organisations, including Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, BIC Innovation, Cywain - Menter a Busnes, Food & Drink Wales Trade Programme, Food Innovation Wales and Lantra Wales/Food Skills Cymru.
Professor David Lloyd, co-chair of the COVID-19 Resilience Group and director of ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Met University, said: “In this volatile and changing environment, these resources give Welsh food and drink manufacturers the opportunity to access a range of targeted support.
“The COVID-19 Resilience Group is made up of a number of organisations with a breadth of specialist expertise and depth of industry experience; whether your company requires commercial or technical support and whether you’re a micro-business or large manufacturer, we encourage you to get in touch.”
Andy Richardson, chair of the Food & Drink Wales Industry Board, added: “The business resilience support announced plays a vital role in delivering the COVID-19 Recovery Plan. I would encourage businesses of all sizes to engage with the support available in our quest to develop the resilience of Welsh food and drink businesses at this critical time in our history.”