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Welsh food and drink companies shine THE CREAM of Welsh food

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welshfoodTHE CREAM of Welsh food and drink producers returned from France last week having promoted the best of what Wales has to offer at one of the world’s largest food fairs. The Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire (SIAL) 2014, which this year was celebrating its 50th birthday, hosted over 6000 exhibitors from 105 countries and is seen as a key platform for the food and drink sector to promote their produce to buyers from all over the globe. 

17 Welsh food and drink companies attended SIAL, under the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Wales banner, with many returning having made important new contacts, that will hopefully lead to lucrative orders. Following her visit to SIAL, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans AM, reiterated her support for the Welsh presence at such high profile events: “If we are serious about raising the profile of the Welsh food and drink sector on a global stage it is vitally important that we provide a platform such as this for our producers.

We have made no secret of our aspirational targets for the sector in Wales, but I have no doubt that if we have a strategic, integrated approach then our target of growing the industry by 30% by 2020 can be achieved. My visit to SIAL reinforced my views of the strength of the Welsh food and drink industry and I am confident that those producers present at SIAL will benefit directly from the experience.” Cardiff based granola producer – The Good Carb Food Company, was one of the companies on the Food and Drink Wales stand and Director Nigel Bryan felt it was a worthwhile visit: “It can be difficult with such a large event to get your voice heard so it’s great that the Welsh Government lends its support to help us have a presence at such an important trade fair.

Since we launched our company 10 years ago we have become one of the leading producers of healthy granola breakfast cereals and sell our product all over the world. This kind of event allows us the chance to look at expanding our market further and gives us a direct interaction with both present and potential buyers.” Another company hoping to pick up some orders is mid Wales based cake and pudding makers Sidoli &Sons Ltd, as Gilly Barber explains: “Events such as SIAL offer us as producers the chance to show off our wares to an extensive audience but it’s also the chance to highlight new products.

Our new Gluten Free Carrot Cake was making its debut this year and I’m glad to say that it was very popular. It is now a case of following up on that interest and turning it into sales.” North Wales based South Caernarfon Creameries attracted quite a bit of interest with their cavern matured cheddar cheese, as Nick Beadman explains: “In such a large event it is always good to have a product that has a story attached to it and our cheddar cheese, matured 500 feet underground at the Llechwedd Slate Caverns, certainly got people’s attention. It’s a product that very much reflects our Welsh heritage and it’s a very positive partnership with another Welsh icon, the slate caverns. Most importantly though, it tastes great and that, fortunately, was the overwhelming feedback from SIAL.” SIAL was held in Paris on October 19-23 with 17 Welsh businesses in attendance being showcased on the Food and Drink Wales stand.

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Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby.

The scheme, which is due to start on Monday, July 5 and conclude on Friday, September 10, will again see the walled town divided into three ‘zones’, each having varying degrees of vehicle access.

Whilst all necessary plans are being put in place for it to start and finish on the above dates, the scheme will remain under constant review in light of Government guidance relating to Covid-19, and the Council will provide any updates as necessary.

Possession of an ‘access permit’ does not provide any exemption from Government restrictions, and any regulations relating to travel and the occupation of holiday accommodation or second homes must be observed at all times.

Following the success of last year, the permit application process will continue online, with paper application forms and guidance notes no longer being delivered to residents and businesses.

The application form and guidance notes are available from pembrokeshire.gov.uk/tenby-pedestrianisation

Residents and business within Tenby are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible, to ensure that there is sufficient time for the application to be processed.

Permits will be issued approximately 7-10 days prior to the start of the scheme.

For enquiries, e-mail tenby.pedestrian@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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Join the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel as an independent member

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THE Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is looking for two members to join them in their work to support and challenge the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel is made of up of members nominated by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys county councils along with at least two independent members.

Opportunities have now arisen for two independent members to join the Panel and carry out key statutory roles that will support the Commissioner exercise his role effectively.

Members will be expected to attend and take part in regular meetings and take part in decision making, creating reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner.

They will review the Commissioner’s annual draft Police and Crime Plan and annual draft budget, review and scrutinise his decisions and actions, and if necessary review the proposed appointment or removal of the Chief Constable and other senior police force appointments.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they can take a balanced and objective approach in supporting the Panel and the Commissioner, make strategic and well-informed decisions, and interpret and question financial, statistical and performance related information.

They will also need to be able to act as a ‘critical friend’, challenging views or proposals for change constructively.

Applications close on May 31, and appointments to the Panel will be made until October 31, 2024. 

For further information, visit www.dppoliceandcrimepanel.wales

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Successful Fire Service and Health Board partnership to enhance COVID-19 vaccine roll out comes to end

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TUESDAY 11 May 2021 marked the end of a hugely successful partnership between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board, initiated to enhance the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, Community Safety Staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Recognising the configuration of our Service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

“Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other Fire and Rescue Services in Wales.

“I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic”.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the Service’s response to this call for assistance.

“Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

“Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other Health Boards across the Service area. Indeed, a group of 10 vaccine heroes from our Service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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