Supermarket giants are hungry for more local food from North Wales

Supermarket giants ASDA are looking for more local food producers across North Wales.

That was the message from the world’s biggest retailer to an audience of food producers from Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham at the North East Wales Food Conference in Llangollen.

ASDA, a subsidiary of America’s Walmart Group, already stock a range of products from across North Wales, including Blodyn Aur, cold-pressed rapeseed oil.

Alison Sawyer, of ASDA’s Local Sourcing Team, based in Leeds, told the conference at the Wild Pheasant Hotel that ASDA already stock 300 lines of Welsh produce, 13 per cent more than their nearest major retail competitor.

She said: “We would like to stock more and we’re very interested in products from North Wales.

“We want to give people the opportunity to buy products that are local and products that are Welsh when they are out doing their weekly shop.

“We have the flexibility to enable us to grow your businesses whether you can get your product into one store or into a group of stores.

“It’s about delighting our customers and we want to offer them a regional and a local choice and we want to make it a simple process to become a local supplier.”

The conference was organised by regeneration agencies Cadwyn Clwyd and Northern Marches Cymru and paid for by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) through the Welsh Government’s Rural Development Plan, part of a three-year plan to revitalise rural communities and their  across North East Wales.

Cadwyn Clwyd Agri-Food Officer Robert Price said: “ASDA have been very positive about sourcing local food products and they have a simple and straightforward system for food producers to follow.

“We have exceptionally high quality food right across North East Wales and there has probably never been a better opportunity for businesses to make their mark in what is a very competitive environment.

Supermarkets like ASDA are not just looking for our high quality meat and vegetables, they are also looking for added value products like preserves, pates, pies, cakes, sweets and biscuits and there are an increasing number of quality specialist food outlets as well.”

Other speakers at the event included Margaret Carter, who founded Patchwork Pates in Ruthin 30 years ago and who is currently running a new venture to use beer, wine and cider from local producers in pates, chutneys and preserves.

She also heads up a mentoring scheme for small businesses and also for young businesspeople.

The conference also heard from Tansy Rogerson and David Franklin of the Bodnant Food Centre where 70 per cent of their stock comes from over 150 producers from Wales, almost half from North Wales.

Dave Franklin, the Farm Shop Manager, said: “We want to meet more Welsh suppliers and more different lines and we are particularly interested in fruit and vegetables, snack foods, sauces, cheeses and buiscuits.

“It is not just about price today. We are finding that people are willing to come and travel to us and they’re willing to pay a bit more for quality food.”

The conference was also addressed by Jo Leah, of Weber Shandwick who promote North Wales Food, from Martin Jardine of the Food Technology Centre in Llangefni and from Phil Corper, of waste prevention organisation WRAP Cymru.

Anyone interested in Cadwyn Clwyd’s projects can ring 01824 705802 or e-mail

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