Wales fruit and veg producers respond to demand
A survey of fruit and veg producers in Wales, conducted by Cardiff University, the Food Foundation, Food Sense Wales and Tyfu Cymru, finds:
- Most growers experienced sudden and dramatic increases in demand for their produce. These have continued beyond an initial phase of stocking up.
- Despite the sudden loss of usual trading routes growers have not been generating surplus. Producers responded quickly to find alternative sales routes, with many diverting from catering trade to home deliveries.
- Growers are experiencing strains on workload and capacity due to the combination of worker unavailability and pressures from additional or unfamiliar tasks.
- There is a clear willingness and potential to increase fruit and vegetable production in Wales. However, most growers lack the resources to achieve this, particularly at short notice.
- The sector is currently demonstrating its value as a supplier of fresh produce to Welsh consumers. With appropriate support this could become continued growth.
Support which could quickly expand production in Wales were suggested and included:
- Grants to enable new entrants to set up their enterprise.
- Services to match available farmland to growers seeking new or expanded production sites.
- Online skill-share networks or matching services.
- A Welsh marketing campaign to promote local produce.
- Coordination between growers and supply chain actors to allow complementary growing plans.
- Distribution hubs similar to Open Food Networks.
- Coordination to promote resource matching and equipment sharing.
The full report can be found here with thanks to Hannah Pitt from Cardiff University.
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