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Câr-Y- Môr to build seaweed processing facility in west Wales

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IT has been confirmed that Câr-Y- Môr, Wales’ first regenerative seaweed and shellfish farm, is to build a new seaweed processing facility – the first of its kind in Wales – at its site in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. Construction will begin later this year.

The facility will produce a plant biostimulant using seaweed harvested from Câr Y Môr’s sustainable ocean farms off the Pembrokeshire coastline.

Seaweed biostimulants contain substances which are mostly organic, but with trace levels of inorganic nutrient elements. They stimulate plants’ natural processes, supporting growth, flowering, fruiting and resistance to stresses such as drought, heat and cold.

These natural Biostimulants are increasingly being explored as an alternative to synthetic fertilisers and pesticides because they can help to keep the land nourished and balanced.

Câr Y Môr co-founder Owen Haines said: “There is a growing interest in this type of regenerative farming because many are concerned that modern farming practices are reducing our farming land’s productivity and ecosystem health. Creating a sustainable future is a core part of Câr Y Môr’s aim, and we’re very excited about the potential to provide farms and domestic customers in the UK and Ireland with a natural and sustainable biostimulant produced just off our coast.”

Before the product goes on sale, the biostimulant will be further tested, and farmers and members of the public can become part of the trial by contacting Câr-Y-Môr.

Founded in 2019, Câr Y Môr is a Community Benefit Society (CBS). This business structure enables it to be owned and democratically run by its growing 260 members. Membership is open to all as it only costs £1. Câr Y Môr’s mission is simply to improve the health of our planet and people by sustainably farming seaweed and shellfish on its ocean farms off the coast of Pembrokeshire, and selling sustainable Welsh Seafood products locally, online and across the UK. The addition of Seaweed Biostimulant to their product range is key to bringing more benefits to all.

“A little-known fact regarding the unique CBS structure is that it has the potential for exponential growth,” said Owen. “This is possible due to the amazing network of people it can attract and the significant unsecured funding it can raise for investing due to its 100% community ownership. Câr Y Môr is at the vanguard of showing how the potential growth of the CBS model can be achieved. We currently employ 14 people and aim to develop a financially and environmentally sustainable source of employment.”

Initial research of seaweed biostimulants shows an average of 17% boost in crop yield (more details on the fact sheet accessed via this web page), reducing dependency on costly synthetic fertilisers, and empowering your soil with enhanced resilience against abiotic stress – all while contributing to the UK’s transition to low-carbon agriculture. Câr Y Môr’s biostimulant makes this a reality by tapping into the rich resource of farm-grown sugar kelp and oarweed, harnessing the ocean’s nutrients through an energy-efficient process to nourish and invigorate your soil.

Owen Haines added: “Our seaweed biostimulant is not just a product; it’s a promise to the land and to those who nurture it. As a sustainably focused, community-owned business based in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, we will provide a cutting-edge biostimulant derived from our zero-input ocean farm located in grade A waters in the Ramsey Sound, off the coast of St Davids.”

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£1m boost for marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry in Wales

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£1 MILLION of Welsh Government funding is being made available to boost the marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry in Wales, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced.

The support comes from the Welsh Marine and Fisheries Scheme, with the application window for this funding opening today. The scheme aims to ensure environmentally and economically sustainable growth in the sector and help coastal communities prosper into the future.

Those in the industry can apply for funding for a wide range of activities from 11 separate categories.

These include, but are not limited to, funding to increase the potential of aquaculture sites and equipment on vessels aimed at reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency, and professional advice for businesses ranging from marine environment sustainability to business and marketing strategies. Applicants could also apply for funding for projects to carry out research on health safety and wellbeing needs for the sector.

The maximum grant award is £100,000, with the minimum grant award being £500. The application window closes on 10 May and successful applicants will be notified during July.

Applicants must be registered with Rural Payments Wales (RPW) Online, where the application and claims processes can be found. Details of the scheme, including guidance, can be found on the Welsh Government’s website – www.gov.wales/marine-fisheries-grants

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “I am pleased to be able to make £1 million available to support our marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry.

“The Welsh Marine and Fisheries Scheme offers funding for a broad range of actions which can be vital in helping businesses to take advantage of opportunities and grow.

“I encourage everyone with an interest to visit the Welsh Government’s website to learn more about the scheme and apply by the closing date of 10 May.”

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St David’s Day boost: Pembs creamery launches new Welsh milk price

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PEMBROKESHIRE CREAMERY, which is set to begin production this spring, has used St Davids’ Day to launch its new milk price for Welsh milk.

Using the industry-recognised Liquid Standard Litre the company has announced an April milk price of 38.5 pence per litre.

Pembrokeshire Creamery will be the only liquid milk bottling facility in Wales certified to supply Welsh supermarkets. Ultimately this will be local Welsh milk, produced, processed and distributed from this new development.

Eliminating the need for transporting milk to England for processing, Pembrokeshire Creamery significantly reduces food miles, streamlines the supply chain, creates new skilled jobs in Pembrokeshire, and bolsters local farming communities. This efficiency enables Pembrokeshire Creamery to offer producers who have already committed, and those following the project as it develops, a competitive milk price from April 2024.

Mark McQuade, managing director, Pembrokeshire Creamery said: “It seemed fitting, on St David’s Day, to launch an April milk price for Welsh milk which we hope will be sufficiently competitive to attract farmers from across the region to consider us as a potential customer.

“We will be the only BRC Certified facility to offer Welsh milk that is also bottled in Wales enabling us to offer an authentically Welsh milk supply for Welsh supermarket stores.

“This unique selling point gives Pembrokeshire Creamery, and the farmers who work with us, a strong point of difference in meeting the needs of both retailers and consumers who increasingly value locally-sourced produce,” he said.

The development of Pembrokeshire Creamery has been supported by the Welsh Government and the EU RDP-funded Food Business Investment Scheme. Additional funding has been supplied by HSBC.

(Cover Image: Mark Sinclair)

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Indian baker inspired to make Welsh cakes in Mumbai

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A BAKER based in India has been impressing locals after trying her hand at Welsh cakes, finding inspiration in an old family recipe.

Desiree Bradford, who runs the Goodie Bag Co based in Mumbai, has enjoyed baking the much-loved Welsh treats, despite having no idea what they were supposed to taste like beforehand.

Born and raised in Mumbai, she was given an old family recipe by Mitchell Theaker, a Welsh native who recently moved to the country as the Welsh Government’s head of India.

Desiree said: “It definitely made me nervous; trying to recreate something that Mitch has had since childhood, it was a big ask.

“Also, I had no idea what it actually tastes like. I did enjoy the process – learning about it – that it was meant to be a hardy food for the miners, who carried them in their pockets.

“Mitch was very encouraging with his feedback and after a few trials – I hope I can do some justice to the Welsh cakes.”

She’s also created a fusion to celebrate the coming together of the two nations, in addition to the original recipe – an Indian-inspired rose, cardamom and pistachio flavour.

St David’s Day is being celebrated in Mumbai as the Welsh Government announces that 2024 is the year of Wales in India.

Year-long celebrations will bring the two nations together through a series of events, stories and activities which celebrate the two nations of culture and innovation.  

Food is playing a key part in the celebrations – both throughout the year and at the St David’s Day events.

Alongside showcasing popular brands, such as Penderyn whisky and Calon Wen cheese to a global market, Desiree made more than 1,000 Welsh cakes ready for the St David’s Day celebrations in Mumbai.

Desiree, who also loves to ride motorcycles in her spare time, wasn’t actually sure what the cakes were supposed to taste like. She said: “The first time I made Welsh cakes, I could not gauge if it was supposed to taste like a cookie or a pancake or a scone.

“I had to watch lots of videos on dos and don’ts, it does take some time to understand just how much to cook it, so it doesn’t get dry.

“Since then I have been enjoying the Welsh cakes – especially when they are straight off the pan.”

The recipe came from Mitchell’s grandmother, who was from Ynyshir, and he believes she probably got the recipe from her mother.

Mitchell said: “My grandmother lived in Ynyshir, Rhondda all her life.

“Seeing her Welsh cake recipe, being baked in Mumbai with such love for our Saint David’s Day events, well, it’s really touching.

“To us it’s more than just a set of instructions; it’s a piece of our family’s heart and history that Desiree has honoured so beautifully.

“The timeless appeal of genuine, traditional, home-cooked goodness. It’s a beautiful bridge between our two countries.”

Baking Welsh cakes has even inspired her to learn more about our nation, and even attempt to try more Welsh classics.

“I honestly can’t say that I know much about Wales, but I am definitely inspired to visit and curious to try some other Welsh favourites like the Bara Brith.”

For the latest news and updates on Wales in India, follow @WalesInIndia on twitter and Wales in India on LinkedIn.

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