1. ITV Report

Welsh shoppers urged to 'shop local' and support food producers

Credit: ITV News

People in Wales are being urged to 'shop local and shop Welsh', in a bid to do more to support their local food and drink producers.

The Food and Drink Industry in Wales has grown rapidly in recent years with almost 4,000 Welsh products available on our shelves, and statistics reveal positive shopping trends.

Research commissioned by the Welsh Government found 8 out of 10 shoppers would always buy Welsh if the price was right.

of people asked would pay more for a Welsh product.

The figures also found many people would prefer to see more Welsh products on menus when eating out in cafes and restaurants. But with tough financial times ahead and the rise of discount supermarkets putting more pressure on the retail sector experts say new, growing producers need all the help they can get.

"Agri-food" project Cywain works with and supports the development of new businesses in Wales highlighting the economical and environmental benefits of buying local.

We are asking people to make their purchases closer to home - to shop local and shop Welsh.

For every £1 spent locally, they say that more than 60% (60 pence) returns into the local economy.

It helps farmers maintain their farms, and the producers to keep on producing their fantastic products. If we all buy some extra things locally this year we can make a huge difference.

– Nia Mon, Cywain development manager

According to Cywain Pembrokeshire in particular has seen a surge in new food producers, many of whom have received support to establish or develop their business or product.

Brothers Ryan and Declan Cole also saw their Goats Cheese business go from strength to strength in 2017.

With help from Cywain and the Food Centre Wales in Carmarthenshire they have produced two styles of cheese using 100% of their own goats milk.

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There's a lot of work that goes into making just one round of cheese from milking the goat to making it and packing and labelling and then getting it to the shops so yeah there is quite a lot of work that goes into it. It's really important to every small local business starting off everybody needs support.

– Ryan Cole, Pembrokeshire Goats Cheese

Just before Christmas they published results of a survey which found more than half of Welsh consumers didn't know if any of their Christmas dinner ingredients were produced in Wales last year.

The findings of the survey, which was carried out by YouGov, found only 18% of people had Welsh turkey for Christmas dinner in 2016, and only 29% ate Welsh potatoes.

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Our campaign highlights that consumers do not need to look further afield to construct their festive feast – all of the ingredients are available right on their doorstep in Wales.

We are proud that so many consumers associate Welsh produce with quality, good value for money and high production standards.

We hope that by underlining the link between producers in Wales and the food they produce, more people will prioritise Welsh this Christmas and support our hardworking Welsh farmers and growers in the process.

– Stephen James, NFU Cymru President