The Food and Farming Sector is considered key to the Welsh economy.
Recent research, 'The Welsh Food and Drink Skills Project', conducted in collaboration with the Sector Skills Councils and industry partners, indicates that the food and drink supply chain is important to the Welsh economy in terms of employment, income and the contribution it makes to tourism.
The research estimates that the supply chain makes up approximately 18% of the total Welsh workforce, and generated over Â£6 billion in 2010, performing well in a challenging economic climate.
The report states that there are 27, 515 local business units in the food and drink supply chain which employ approximately 230, 000 people â representing the largest combined industry of employment across Wales. Looking at farming, direct employment in Wales is some 70, 000.
For the purposes of the Food and Farming Sector Panel, there needs to be recognition that âfoodâ covers a complex structure of producers, processors, retailers and consumers.
âFood for Wales, Food from Wales 2010-2020. A Food Strategy for Walesâ sets out a wide ranging vision of the place of food in Wales, and to provide a means whereby a broad range of food related issues may be addressed. It is founded on principles of sustainable development, which include economic, social and environmental aspects of the production and consumption of food.
The strategy outlines a clear direction for the Welsh food industry to grow in a sustainable and profitable manner. It takes into consideration crosscutting issues such as health, food culture and education, food security, environmental sustainability and community development to provide the basis for an integrated approach to food policy in Wales.
The panel was established in October 2011 and is made up of 10 business people with expertise and an established reputation in the food and farming sector.
We're working with the sector panel to develop and implement a strategy and action plan for the Food and Farming sector in Wales.