A NEW retail plan has been launched, in a bid to get more food and drink products from Wales on supermarket shelves across the UK.

This morning (Wednesday, July 21), the Welsh Government launched their Food and Drink Wales Retail Plan.

It comes as part of efforts to see the food and drink industry this side of the border grow at a same rate as the rest of the UK.

Over the next few years, the plan will see help given to new food and drink businesses, and support to established businesses looking to expand onto retail shelves beyond Wales.

The Welsh Government's minister for rural affairs and North Wales Lesley Griffiths launched the Retail Plan during a visit to Samosaco in Pontyclun earlier today.

The firm, known for their vegan and vegetarian Indian meals and snacks, currently see their products stocked on Morrisons’s shelves in Wales, and in Costco across the UK.

It is believed that this new plan will help businesses such as Samosaco establish themselves beyond Wales, by assisting in building closer working relationships across supply-chains and retailers.

An eight point plan, there are also hopes that it will help future businesses gain a foothold in a competitive industry.

What has been said about the plan?

Ms Griffiths said: “We have fantastic food and drink producers here in Wales and I am committed to helping them see their products enjoyed by more people, not only here in Wales, but across the UK.

“The new retail plan will be key to this by helping develop greater strength and resilience within the industry and put in place the building blocks to support companies in their next phase of growth and development.

“I would like to thank the Retail Expert Group for their work in helping create this plan. The group has been specifically established to assess Wales’ position within the UK retail sector and respond to the demands of evolving food markets.

“We have a real opportunity, through this new plan, to help Welsh food and drink businesses reach new and potentially game changing markets.”

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Co-founder of Samosaco, Tee Sandhu said: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister here today to launch such an important initiative for Welsh Food and Drink.

“We have recently refreshed our brand and have developed a number of new Vegan and Vegetarian ready meal and snack lines and have had excellent support from the Government’s Trade Development Programme and the Fine Food Cluster.

“Our products including our famous ‘Onion Bhaji Scotch Egg’ are already widely distributed across Wales and will soon be available across most of GB through a significant online retailer. We look forward to building closer ties with the major retailers and expanding our position in the market.”

Chair of food and drink Wales industry board (FDWIB), Andy Richardson said: “Welsh Food & Drink has a tremendous opportunity to develop sales across retailers both in Wales and the UK. I genuinely believe consumers value the quality, sustainability and provenance of Welsh Food & Drink which, when combined with some excellent point of sale branding, should lead to good growth in this sector in the coming years”.