New project to boost local produce industry

A new EU-backed project aiming to boost the profile and business of Welsh and Irish food and drink producers - BUCANIER - was introduced at the recent Supplier to Buyer event at the Withybush Showground.

Supplier to Buyer is the largest trade show for the tourism and hospitality sector in South West Wales, showcasing a range of local products and services.

This year, the event attracted more than 65 businesses and more than 350 visitors, with feedback indicating that many new contacts and business deals were made, together with a number of successful product launches.

BUCANIER (Building Clusters and Networks in Innovation Enterprise and Research) will deliver innovation master classes, business mentoring and networking opportunities for the food and drink, renewables and life sciences sectors.

The project is a partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and organisations in Wales and Ireland. It is funded through the EU's Ireland-Wales cooperation programme, which is helping to strengthen economic links and collaboration between the two countries.

Peter Lord, project manager, said Supplier to Buyer was a perfect opportunity to introduce BUCANIER, and that exciting plans were in the pipeline for next year's event.

"We are intending to invite Irish traders over here in 2019 and to reciprocate the following year by taking Welsh traders to Ireland, to build links between the two countries, boost their profiles, and increase trade options," he said.

Joanne Welch, Food Officer for Pembrokeshire County Council, said Supplier to Buyer gives traders the chance to meet those working in the hospitality and tourism trade face-to-face.  

"It's great to see relationships being built and new business being developed - often between traders themselves! There are positive times ahead as we look forward to establishing inter-trade relations between the Welsh and Irish."

‘Supplier to Buyer' is organised by Pembrokeshire County Council's Food Development Team and Pembrokeshire Tourism