The Welsh Government said Project HELIX would safeguard thousands of jobs
A new £21 million programme was expected to safeguard thousands of jobs and deliver over £100 million for the Welsh economy.
Welsh Government’s Project HELIX will provide funding for research into global food production, trends and waste to help small to medium sized food manufacturers across Wales to increase production and reduce waste.
The Project was funded through the Rural Development Programme (RDP) and was expected to create 370 new jobs, primarily in rural Wales and the Valleys and safeguard a further 2,000.
The research will take into consideration new challenges and opportunities facing the industry as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Speaking at the launch of the Project at the TasteWales event, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “We have set ambitious targets for the food and drink industry to achieve growth of 30 per cent by 2020 and I am pleased to say we are firmly on course to meet that target.
“Project HELIX is the next step on the journey to ensure our food and drink industry is globally recognised for quality, creativity and skills.”
The project was developed by Food Innovation Wales (FIW), a partnership of the three food centres in Wales.
It aimed to support manufacturers in innovation, efficiency and strategy.
Professor David Lloyd from Cardiff Metropolitan University’s ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, one of the FIW partners said: "We want the industry to be innovative right across the board, from improving nutritional standards and new product development in response to health and well-being challenges to retail and market trends.
“Our aim is to put Wales on the global food and drink map, and to do that, HELIX will provide high levels of support such as identifying business people who want to invest or advising food manufacturers on technical standards and regulations.”