Menter a Busnes has announced the success of the Welsh Government backed Decarbonisation and Covid Recovery Challenge Funds.
The two funds, which were launched in 2021, have injected vital funding into Wales’s food and drink sector to spur economic growth, innovation, and sustainable change.
The Decarbonisation Fund has invested £1.5 million to support 22 projects in adopting new technologies and processes to reduce carbon emissions. Projects range from the world’s first carbon neutral alcohol-free brewery, which is based in Swansea, zero-waste wineries and several programmes committed to transforming waste from manufacturing processes into new, innovative products. As a result of these investments, the projects are expected to significantly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and environmental impact each year.
The Covid Recovery Challenge Fund has invested over £2.5 million to support 8 projects in Wales’s food and drink sector. The fund has created new jobs across Wales and has seen Welsh innovation and manufacturing soar. With a focus on sustainable supply chains and low environmental impact, projects include a revival of medieval Welsh mead and Welsh food and drink producers pursuing green growth through BCORP principles. Access to training, and market development support as part of the fund have provided a further boost for businesses recovering from the pandemic.
“The success of the Decarbonisation and Covid Recovery Fund is a testament to the resilience and innovation of Wales’s food and drink sector,” said Sara Davies of Menter a Busnes.
“These funds have helped businesses to invest in new technologies and processes, create new jobs, and secure new contracts. As a result, the sector is now well-placed to grow and thrive in the years to come.”
Welsh Government’s Decarbonisation and Covid Recovery Challenge Funds are part of Menter a Busnes’s wider commitment to supporting the growth and development of Wales’s food and drink sector.
“We are proud to be playing a leading role in supporting the growth and development of Wales’s food and drink sector. It is a vital part of the Welsh economy, and we are committed to helping it to reach its full potential,” adds Sara Davies.
The Decarbonisation and Covid Challenge Funds have been welcomed by businesses in the food and drink sector.
“Not only are we looking at a lower carbon supply chain… But we’re also really zoning in on elements of nutrition, wellbeing, and health,” says Ed Morgan of Llanelli-based independent food retailer Castell Howell.
“The project gives us real impetus to look forward to the future, to see what our supply chain could look like.”
Castell Howell is not the only business looking at a more robust, environmentally sustainable supply chain.
“The whole idea of [the Decarbonisation Fund] was to reduce our impact on the environment,” adds Rhodri Jones of Cardigan-based café, bakery, and Welsh food suppliers, Crwst. “It was definitely a want to do, to make us a more robust business going forward. Our customers are becoming a lot more environmentally aware. [They]stray away from brands that aren’t showing any sort of environmental and sustainable values. We wanted to do this project to have a lasting impact on our business.”
The success of Welsh Government’s Decarbonisation and Covid Challenge Funds is a clear indication of the potential of Wales’s food and drink sector. With the right support, the sector is well-placed to grow and thrive in the years to come.