Each year food festivals in Wales contribute millions of pounds to the economy by attracting visitors from across Wales and beyond and provide an important platform for producers looking to increase sales in an ever more competitive marketplace.
Around 40-50 festivals receive support each year from the Food Festival Grant programme, which is funded by the Welsh Government. In 2010/11 some 49 festivals received grant support.
Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries said:
“Each year food festivals in Wales contribute millions of pounds to the economy and are a key element in promoting Wales’ burgeoning food culture and giving visitors a ‘sense of place’.
“Large or small, they have their own distinct character, but with one common thread – to bring to the public’s attention the fantastic array of food and drink produced in Wales.”
The findings of a two-year evaluation of food festivals supported by the Welsh Government, and conducted by Miller Research, show they attracted approximately 650,000 consumers with an average spend per head by festival visitors of £20.
This equates to £7m in direct spend with an estimated additional spend in host communities of £42 million over two years and implies additional sales directly relating to festivals in the region of almost £50million over a two-year period.
Approximately 500 producers – many of them Wales the True Taste Food & Drink Award winners - attended the supported festivals in 2010/11, reporting an average of 32% of their annual sales made as a result of attending festivals.
Applications will be reviewed by a team consisting of representatives from the Welsh Government’s Food and Market Development Division and Visit Wales, with each application considered on individual merit and in light of available funding. Following consultation with the Food and Farming Panel the outcomes will be issued the week commencing March 19th.
This year there have been a number of major changes to the food festivals funding criteria, which has been tightened due to budgetary constraints and an increased number of applicants.
Applicants must now submit a business plan and accounts as part of the application process, and all events supported must have food activity as its core. The closing date for applications in February 17th, 2012.
The appraisal process will also look a number of other elements, including: the promotion of Welsh food culture, the benefit of the festival to the local community, the local economic benefit, and how the event meets to aims and objectives of the Food Strategy for Wales