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Written Statement - Towards Sustainable Growth: an Action Plan for the Food and Drink Industry 2014-2020

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Towards Sustainable Growth: An Action Plan for the Food and Drink Industry 2014-2020 aims to grow output for the sector by 30% to £7billion by 2020.
Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food

In the autumn I outlined my aspirations for the food and drink industry in Wales. I launched a consultation on an action plan for the industry in the Winter Fair last December resulting in a positive engagement with interest groups and business. I updated Assembly Members on feedback this Easter. Today I am launching and publishing ‘Towards Sustainable Growth: an Action Plan for the Food and Drink Industry 2014-2020’.

The plan has been, and continues to be about actions, targets and timescales. It is also predicated on partnership between government and industry. The actions show the Welsh Government as an active and supportive partner to industry, by providing clarity, certainty, and confidence.

The document maintains the core elements from the draft document, and in recognition of many of the responses during consultation, underscores the necessity for this to be market orientated and market led, with a strong focus on sustainable growth. The plan includes a commitment to deliver a 30% increase in turnover to £7 billion by 2020.

Establishing a Food and Drink Wales Industry Board; progress the Identity to encompass provenance, quality and safety; and supporting industry innovation and improving skills among the workforce are vital components of the plan.

The Board will be the representative voice of industry and will drive sustainable growth. I am inviting nominations from the industry for the position of Chair today, and will announce the appointment this summer.

The plan also encourages integration on tackling poverty, managing our natural resources and encouraging a sustainable industry based on productivity and profitability. The plan also highlights the importance of sustainable food systems, wellbeing and education.

‘Towards Sustainable Growth: an Action Plan for the Food and Drink Industry 2014-2020’ is attached.