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Written Statement - Future Government Support for the Welsh Drinks Industry.

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Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes

Our drinks industry is an important part of our food industry, and we are seeing a growing international reputation for our beer, cider, perry, wine, and spirits brands.

We have made clear our commitment to supporting the industry by helping to develop, promote and market Welsh food and drink, strengthening supply chain linkages where appropriate, and to diversifying and strengthening the rural economy by the promotion of new and innovative products and processing and the pursuit of new markets.

In September 2011, I hosted the first drinks industry summit in Aberystwyth, to establish the ambitions and growth potential from this sector, and how Government can further support the Welsh drinks industry. 

I am anxious that any new strategy is industry-led and responds directly to the concerns and demands of the industry. I will hold further such “summits” in the future to ensure that the policies and approach of the Welsh Government continue to reflect the needs of the industry.

As a direct result of that summit, a trade development initiative has been developed which will provide the Welsh Drinks Sector with specific expertise such as market intelligence, marketing and branding, and exports amongst others. I have committed to publishing a plan of action in January 2012 which will provide full details of this initiative.