A new £21 million programme has been set up in order to strengthen the food and drink industry in Wales. It is expected that this programme will safeguard thousands of jobs as well as deliver more than £100 million for the Welsh economy.
The Project HELIX which has been set up by the Welsh Government will provide funding support for research into the global food production, trends and waste which will help small and medium sized food manufacturers to increase production and reduce waste across Wales.
This project has been funded through the Rural Development Programme which is expected to create 370 new jobs which will primarily be located in rural Wales and the Valleys. This programme should also lead to the safeguarding of another 2,000 jobs over the course of the next five years. The research that is taking place as part of this programme will take into consideration the new opportunities as well as any challenges that face the food and drink industry as a result of the UK leaving the EU. These findings should provide Welsh producers with the best opportunity for growth and economic impact as the UK leaves the EU.
The Project HELIX has been launched at the TasteWales event put on by the Welsh Government, at which producers were able to showcase the very best of the food and drink industry in Wales to over 150 UK and international buyers. Project HELIX has been developed by Food Innovation Wales, a partnership of the three different food centers in Wales. It is thought that the project will support the manufacturers of food over the next five years within a selection of areas: innovation; and pushing innovative products and food company start-ups, efficiency; helping businesses to reduce waste during production and secure cost savings, and strategy; making sure that the industry is at a world-class standard in key areas such as food technology.