Understanding the Welsh food sector and market structure contributes to better public sector procurement in Wales. It enables procurement professionals to develop competition between good sources of supply and helps ensure food security.
The Agri-Food sector in Wales produces £1.8 Billion of our GDP and consists of 500 firms of which the vast majority are in the SME sector. The main primary production output from Wales is milk and red meat. A significant proportion of the processing sector in Wales is based on the processing of these key areas of primary produce. There is, however, a significant presence of companies from other sectors, including ready meals producers. Food produced and processed in Wales is sold mainly through retail outlets in the UK and abroad, and increasingly in the growing food service sector.
Research was conducted during 2007 to assess the percentage of public sector expenditure, by sector, which is on food reared, grown or produced in Wales. Figures were obtained from a survey asking for supplier details and then through discussion with those suppliers. Figures are conservative as mixed sources would be deemed to be not of Welsh origin. Priorities for an organisation wishing to review the potential for local supply chains would lie in products with high availability yet low percentages, especially where other sectors are showing different results. Cross sector sharing of information would identify reasons and possible actions.
Developing local supply chains opens up opportunities for small Welsh producers.