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Welsh agri-food minister talks innovation, Brexit and post-CAP opportunities

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

The Welsh Government revealed plans to pump an additional £22m into the food and drink industry last week at Taste Wales, an event promoting Welsh food to more than 200 domestic and international buyers.

Supporting agri-food has been identified as a strategic priority by Welsh regulators. It is an important sector for a country that says it is “small enough to listen” to the concerns of industry. The Welsh food and farming sector was worth £6.8bn in 2018 and the employs around 217,000 people.

Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said the cash will support innovation and help navigate the post Brexit landscape.

In particular, the Welsh authorities are focused on strengthening European partnerships as the chaos around Brexit threatens to damage trading relationships with the bloc.

Food Innovation Wales has become a network partner of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s Food KIK. Supported by Welsh government funding, this will establish a dedicated EIT Food presence in wales, linking the Welsh industry to a wider consortium of industry players across Europe.

We caught up with Lesley Griffiths last week, when she told us about her frustrations with the Brexit process and her hopes for the future of the Welsh food industry.

According to Griffirths, the UK government has “acted very disrespectfully”, failing to consult with Wales as it determines its priorities for Brexit and beyond.

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