FDF Cymru

The voice of the Welsh food and drink industry

FDF Cymru is the welsh division of the food and drink federation (FDF) .The FDF is the membership body for the food and drink manufacturing sector. We represent and support food and drink companies, from ambitious sole traders and SMEs to the largest global brands. We respond to the issues and challenges shaping the world in which you operate, equipping our members with the opportunities and expertise to develop, grow and sustain their businesses.

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Recent updates for Welsh food and drink manufacturers

Further support for Welsh businesses

Update

Businesses in Wales still affected by coronavirus restrictions will be able to claim up to £25,000 more in support to help meet ongoing costs.

This latest support package will help those businesses, which remain affected by restrictions, to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.

Businesses that stand to benefit include:

  • nightclubs and late entertainment venues
  • events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
  • hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions

An eligibility checker will open on the Business Wales website at midday on Monday 17th May so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply.

Businesses will be able submit applications by the end of the month and they will receive between £2,500 and £25,000 depending on their circumstances. Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.

This support is in addition to the Welsh Government’s £610 million non-domestic rates relief which will mean more than 70,000 retail, leisure and hospitality businesses pay no rates in 2021-22.

Chief Executive FDF Cymru: Reflections - 12 May 2021

With the fifth Senedd Election over, it’s Labour in the driving seat. The combined power of Mark Drakeford’s considered and cautious leadership, and an electorate who banked on his experience to take us out of lockdown and move Wales forward, saw him get Welsh Labour’s best ever result. Interestingly, so did the Conservatives under the leadership of Andrew RT. The election saw them moving them up to being the main opposition party.

The first order of business is Covid-19 and where we go from here. Previously the concept of a roadmap, or timetable even, has not been part of the Welsh Government’s playbook. It was rather step-by-step and makes no promises that may not be deliverable if the stats go in the wrong direction.

It will be interesting to see what’s next for the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions beyond 17 May for Wales. There is intense pressure for Wales to reopen, especially from hospitality businesses who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. I am glad to say that the Welsh Government has at least recognised the position of hospitality businesses with their latest funding support offering.

For businesses across the sector, the thorny topic is the two-metre rule which is enshrined in law in Wales unlike other areas of the UK. In order for hospitality to open fully, businesses are hoping for practical guidance to make sure this can happen smoothly, and await confirmation on whether the social distancing review in England will be mirrored in Wales. Along the grapevine, I’ve heard around 20% of hospitality venues have been able to open outside since late April. However, it is by no means the case that by 17 May we will see the remaining 80%, if indeed they have the finances to reopen, to do so under this restriction.

Those manufacturers, the hidden heroes of the pandemic, are now facing the challenge of dealing with testing regimes alongside the protocols that they have been running for more than a year. It would be helpful for industry to hear more on whether Lateral flow tests will be provided free to business beyond 30 June.

As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and look towards the economic recovery, the Welsh Government will also look to resume its legislative agenda, particularly on measures to support skills and jobs, protect the environment, and proceed with their Healthy Weight Healthy Wales strategy. The High Court judgement that Welsh government cannot challenge the UK government on the Internal Market Bill is only the first silo on a topic that goes to the heart of devolution, and is not over by a long way.

For FDF Cymru, the next few weeks are going to be busy with introductions to newly elected Members of the Senedd, where we hope to demonstrate the importance of food and drink manufacturing and the value it has to the Welsh economy. We will also be hosting a webinar for members on 19 May with Deryn Consulting which will provide our thoughts on the election results and the new Welsh political landscape and how it impacts on our sector. Elsewhere, we’re kicking-on with communications on manufacturing innovation with AMRC Cymru, and getting our Multinational SIG back together.

On a personal note, it’s my daughter Holly’s 19th birthday this week, I’m so proud of her as she has had a tough first year at University, and I look forward to giving her a big hug.

Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) linked grants

Update

The First Minister announced on 12 March additional Non-Domestic Rate linked grants. The additional support will help businesses in the hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail sectors that pay non-domestic rates and will operate as a top up to the Restrictions Business Fund.

The application window will close at 5pm on 31 March 2021.

Podcasts

We produce weekly podcasts on developments within UK Food industry featuring Ian Wright, CEO and key policy staff as well ad hoc episodes on topical issues. The FDF Podcast is sponsored by Clarke Energy: Sustainably powering food and drink sectors

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