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Guests at Welsh Government’s St David’s Day reception in Brussels ‘left disappointed by lack of Welsh food’

26 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford picture by the Welsh Government

Guests at the Welsh Government’s St David’s Day reception in Brussels were left disappointed by a lack of Welsh food which they believe could have been due to Brexit, Nation.Cymru has learned.

One of the attendees at the event at Wales House in Brussels, which was hosted by the Welsh Government’s recently appointed representative on Europe, said there was noticeably less Welsh produce on offer than in previous years.

It comes amid concerns expressed by Welsh farming unions over new barriers to trade with Europe created by Brexit.

“The event was known for its excellent food and attracted lots of external people from the Eurobubble, a great display of soft power, brand-building and networking,” said the source.

“I remember things like whole Welsh salmon, Menai mussels in Welsh cider and whiskey, Welsh lamb and beef carvery-style, Welsh lamb curry and Welsh cakes being served.”

At this year’s reception, the first since Brexit came into effect due to the pandemic, the only Welsh food on offer was cheese that remains available to buy in local supermarkets and Glamorgan sausages.

“I didn’t hear any organisers say it explicitly, but attendees were speaking about how it may have been Brexit-related,” the source added.

‘Costs and barriers’

First Minister Mark Drakeford attended a separate afternoon tea in Brussels on March 2. A second source said there were a limited number of Welsh cakes available, with the rest of the food available local produce.

The President of the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has said the Brexit deal done by the UK Government is “far harder” than he had hoped for and placed “unjustified restrictions” on Welsh farmers which left them “at a severe competitive disadvantage”.

Additional paperwork needed to export Welsh meat is already threatening jobs, with Randall Parker Foods near Llanidloes warning recently it may have to cut its staff by a third.

“The threat to jobs in Montgomeryshire and the sheep farmers across Wales who supply Randall Parker brings the message home, and action needs to be taken to reduce the impact,” said FUW Montgomeryshire representative Emyr Wyn Davies.

“We had always known that the UK’s decision to pull out of the single market and customs union would create additional costs and barriers, but these have been exacerbated by slow preparations by the powers that be.”

The Welsh Government declined to comment.


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John
John
1 month ago

Chi bleidleisiodd drosto fe ffermwyr!

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Well well, all those time consuming EU forms look like a walk in the park now don’t they? Hands up all farmers who fell for the Farage/Johnson lies.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

The lack of Welsh food at a Brussels St’ David’s Day event speaks volumes of the damage done being done to Wales, Welsh farming & food exporters by this Conservative idiocracy. And this is just the Tory tip of the iceberg of destructive delights soon to hit the fan that will splatter our way Our BritNat clowns in London are to blame, as are some in the Welsh farming industry who foolish voted to leave the European Union believing all the lies & spin not understanding the severe consequences or implications to our wider economy & Senedd democracy. There are… Read more »

Will Thompson
Will Thompson
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Complaining about the damage of the tories. Despite Wales being controlled by Labour and when Labour was in control they did no better. The damage done by Tony cannot be understated.

Marc
Marc
1 month ago

Doesn’t really concern Andrew R T Davies he’s just a hobby farmer

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

It’s not April 1st yet…you could not make this up honestly!

Will Thompson
Will Thompson
1 month ago

What does Belgium have to do with st davids day? If your going there to celebrate st davids day you do not deserve Welsh food.

CapM
CapM
1 month ago

Apart from shellfish everything else usually served up could have been served up as usual.
Brexit has made Welsh produce more expensive in the EU and doing the paper work needed for it’s import more time consuming.
Looks like a decision on cost or those responsible not getting the paper work sorted in good time.

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