David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director of Princes Limited
Great Welsh food and drink always features on our family menu over the Christmas and New Year. So, I’m finding myself salivating at the thought that the BlasCymru/TasteWales conference and trade event, which Princes is proudly sponsoring, is only a few short weeks away.
As the food and drink industry grapples with Brexit uncertainties the BlasCymru/TasteWales will act as a stabilising anchor for the industry in Wales, bringing together experts from around the world to provide inspiration and motivation, whatever the political menu has to offer.
In fact, there’s lots to celebrate. My own company – Princes – is investing £60 million to create a ‘Soft Drinks Centre of Excellence’ in Cardiff, to meet changing consumer demands. What’s more, the inaugural BlasCymru/TasteWales event in 2017 alone saw sales for Welsh food and drink go up a further £14 million. That’s just the sort of boost our industry needs, and why events like this are so important: bringing the sector together – whether you’re taking your first tentative steps in manufacturing, you’re a food giant like Princes, or an international food star like Claus Meyer, our headline speaker and 4-times winner of the coveted World’s Best Restaurant title. We all learn from, and support one another.
It couldn’t be more appropriate that the conference looks at Disruptive Thinking. As the UK goes through this period of unprecedented change, it forces us all to think outside the box, and however scary that might feel, the BlasCymru/TasteWales event will both inspire and reassure.
There’s a phenomenal line up of speakers, who’ve all gained huge success by doing things differently. We’ll learn about brand-building from Tansy Drake, formerly of innocent smoothies; hear about changing consumer demands and the latest food trends from Chris Hayward of Kantar Worldpanel, and Kateline Porritt of thefoodpeople; and leave with greater respect for new communications after hearing the jaw-dropping insights of social media guru, David Levin.
Let’s all come together in March for the BlasCymru/TasteWales event. It’s an opportunity to celebrate, give each other support, share ideas and be one another’s critical friend. The Welsh food and drink industry is a success story, and I believe there are even greater things to come.
To learn more about the conference click through to the full agenda here.