Rural Affairs and North Wales Minister, Lesley Griffiths has visited the Food Technology Centre in Llangefni to hear how their work has helped create hundreds of new jobs in the Welsh food and drink industry.
The Centre, which works with a broad range of businesses from start-ups to national companies, is part of Project HELIX in partnership with Wales’ two other food centres based in Cardiff and Ceredigion.
The Welsh Government and EU-funded project is delivered by Food Innovation Wales and allows eligible companies to have access to a range of expertise to help them grow and succeed through developing innovative new products. It also helps businesses increase their efficiency and adopt a strategic approach to business.
To date Project HELIX has helped create 428 jobs and protect a further 1749 roles throughout Wales. It has supported 257 business start-ups and seen 1010 new products developed.
The Centre is key in helping companies manufacture products on a pilot scale to secure sales from retailers before investing in equipment. It also benefits from a sensory analysis suite and a fully equipped laboratory.
Rural Affairs and North Wales Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “The Food Technology Centre in Llangefni has been crucial in helping create hundreds of new jobs and protecting many more in the Welsh food and drink industry through Project HELIX.
“It has also helped businesses navigate the challenges of the Covid19 pandemic by providing a range of support including mentoring companies through remote food safety audits and helping them capitalise on new consumer trends such as the growth of online retail.
“The Centre, alongside those in Cardiff and Ceredigion, plays an important role in supporting the sector and I am pleased Welsh Government and EU funding is helping them work with businesses here in Wales to reach their potential and be successful.”
Martin Jardine, Director of Agri Food at Grwp Llandrillo Menai, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister here to see first-hand the excellent facilities we have at the Food Technology Centre to support the growth of new and established Welsh food and drink businesses.
“The success of project HELIX is excellent to see, as the teams within Food Innovation Wales continue to work incredibly hard to provide specialist technical support to the food and drink sector, across Wales.
“The outputs that have been achieved are significant in economic terms for Wales and the personal satisfaction of seeing businesses grow and develop knowing there is a positive impact on the supply chain, is incredibly rewarding.
“Plans to further support the Welsh food sector are underway and our aim to develop the Glynllifon Rural Economy Hub, as part of the North Wales Growth Deal is progressing well. It is an exciting project, which aims to boost the rural economy through a knowledge transfer centre, food grade premises and incubator units to further support innovation, business start-ups and farm diversification.”