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Free Business Support for Welsh Food Businesses

FOOD and drink businesses in Wales can access free support and guidance to capitalise on major procurement opportunities in the public sector.

As part of its innovative Larder Cymru project, Anglesey-based Menter Môn is targeting up to 50 producers and processors, with a vision to localise the supply chain and have a positive impact on the economy, social values and the environment.

Funded by Welsh Government, the scheme is focused on coordinating and strengthening relations within local supply chains to position regionally produced food and drink as a compelling proposal for large contracts nationwide.

Bethan Fraser-Williams, Menter Môn Projects Director, said: “We are working with public sector purchasers, procurement officers and different organisations from local authorities, emergency services, the NHS, education providers and more to identify what they need and how we can bridge the gap for independent suppliers.

“We are also in discussions with wholesalers and looking at how small businesses can join forces to tender for bigger opportunities that would previously have been unavailable to them.

“Given the current climate internationally this could also prove to be the most financially beneficial option to them.”

She added: “Our wider aim is to lower the carbon footprint, increase profitability for independent businesses in Wales and reduce the supply chain, which all makes for a more supportive and sustainable arena for producers and the public sector.”

Applicants are being invited to put themselves forward for consideration and explore how being part of the supply chain would support their business and the economy.

Those successful will have access to a Larder Cymru consultant who will mentor and advise on the next course of action, identify geographical challenges, share expertise, and develop an action plan via one-to-one sessions and training.

Bethan said Menter Môn will continue to deliver community-driven, innovative projects that have a direct impact on communities in Wales.

“This is another example of an initiative that will have a huge effect on small businesses and independent suppliers in Wales while at the same time making a big impact nationally,” she added.

“By developing smaller supply chains, it will provide the opportunity to go for bigger contracts, the produce will travel a shorter distance – providing environmental and financial benefits, notably given fuel price hikes – and this will in turn have a knock-on effect for employment and local industry.”

“We will add value by working with businesses, trainers and accreditors and referring the suppliers to the right people at the right time, ensuring communication channels are seamless and progress is made.

“Initially we will be approached by individual businesses and producers but after assessments we will be able to look at grouping them together, geographically, and logistically.

“If their products and services complement each other we can give them the best platform to secure contracts that will make a positive difference to local economies, the environment and communities across Wales for years to come.”

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