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Food & Drink

Welsh food and drink exports hit record high

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Welsh food and drink exports hit a record high in 2021 reaching £641m, the Welsh Government has announced.

Wales also had the largest percentage increase in the value of food and drink exports out of the four UK nations between 2020 and 2021 rising by £89 million, a growth of 16.1%.

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The highest value export category for Welsh food and drink in 2021 was Meat and Meat Products at £187m. Meanwhile, Cereal and Cereal Preparations saw a year-on-year increase of 173%, rising from £51m to £139m, and dairy and birds eggs hit £106m.

The range of products exported is diverse, as is the range of countries Welsh businesses export to.

Welsh Food and Drink exports to the EU were worth £465m in 2021, a £51m increase from 2020, accounting for 73% of the total.

Eight of the top ten Welsh food and drink export destinations were within the EU, with the two non-EU countries being the USA and Saudi Arabia.

The Republic of Ireland remained the highest value destination for Welsh food and drink exports at £113m. Other top destinations included France (£100m), Netherlands (£49m) and Germany (£44m).

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There was a significant increase in exports to Belgium which were worth £56m in 2021, a rise of 162% from £21m in 2020. The highest value category to the country being Dairy Products and Birds Eggs.

Welsh Government Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “It is great news Welsh food and drink exports have reached their highest value ever.

“The past couple of years have been very challenging and these figures clearly demonstrate the resilience and determination of our Welsh companies to succeed in overseas markets.

“The industry in Wales is also leading the way out of the four UK nations with the largest percentage increase in the value of food and drink exports.

“I am pleased the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Export Programme is supporting businesses to broaden trade in new and existing markets in countries around the world.”

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Food & Drink

Swansea rated the best place in the UK for a Thai Takeaway

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person eating using chopsticks

A new study has revealed that Swansea is the best place to find a top quality Thai takeaway in the UK.

This is from HouseholdQuotes who analysed Just Eat data in 523 locations across the UK to discover the best places for 20 cuisine types.

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While coming top for Thai takeaways, Swansea ranked a solid 146 out of 523 UK towns and cities for its overall takeaway offering.

While other Swansea Bay towns didn’t rank quite so highly, if you’re after a different kind of cuisine Port Talbot placed 29th for Pizza.

Indian is Llanelli’s speciality takeaway of choice, with the town ranking 72 in the UK.

Bridgend take-out lovers head for fish and chips, with the town coming in at 225 out f the 523 UK towns and cities surveyed.

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Aldi retains title of ‘UK’s cheapest supermarket’

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As Brits continue to look for ways to cut household costs, consumer group Which? has yet again named Aldi as the cheapest UK supermarket.

With savings of £12.62 compared to the average Big Four basket, Aldi says its shoppers can be confident they’re getting the best deal.

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Which? conducted its monthly Cheapest Supermarket price comparison and looked at the cost of a basket of 47 items, including groceries and household essentials, with Aldi coming in cheapest at just £74.23.

The same shopping cost a whopping £16.91 more at Morrisons and £12.54 more at Tesco.

The independent consumer group’s research also found Aldi to be a massive £25.23 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket, Waitrose, for an equivalent basket of items.

The full results of the research are as follows:

RankRetailerAverage £
1Aldi74.23
2Lidl75.61
3Asda83.22
4Sainsbury’s86.27
5Tesco86.77
6Morrisons91.14
7Ocado95.33
8Waitrose99.46

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said: “We know that across the nation many families are finding things tough due to the cost of living crisis. At Aldi, we’re determined to help by keeping costs low and quality high for our customers. We’re thrilled to yet again be named the UK’s cheapest supermarket.”

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(Lead image: Aldi)

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Food & Drink

Morrisons becomes first supermarket to launch its own carbon neutral eggs

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Morrisons has become the first supermarket to launch its own line of carbon neutral eggs as part of its commitment to be directly supplied by ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030, five years ahead of the rest of the supermarket industry.

In stores now, Morrisons new carbon neutral ‘Planet Friendly Eggs’ come from Morrisons farms where hens are fed a soya-free diet of insects – which are in turn fed on food waste from its bakery, fruit and vegetable sites.

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This pioneering ‘circular waste’ feeding scheme, powered by Better Origin technology, reduces deforestation caused by soya production and negates the carbon emissions emitted from transporting this soya.

The egg farm where the first stock of Planet Friendly Eggs will originate also has a large wind turbine, 50kWh solar panels, and a carbon sequestration programme to offset any remaining emissions on the farm – with 20 percent of its land planted with trees.

Morrisons says it has been working with its farmers to create net zero carbon farm ‘models’ that look at neutralising emissions through the whole lifecycle and footprint of the farm. Planet Friendly eggs are the first product to come out of these models, with sustainable beef, lamb and fruit and vegetables to follow.

A report by the University of Cambridge has confirmed the carbon neutral status of Morrisons new Planet Friendly Eggs, having analysed all carbon emissions in the eggs’ production and those which are offset on Morrisons first carbon neutral egg farm. The report considers the holistic production of the eggs, including the Better Origin X1 insect growing unit and food waste transport, the sourcing of locally grown grain and the hen housing and care.

The product is also set to be the first to feature the British Lion Egg green stamp on its eggs to indicate the lower environmental impact to customers.

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Morrisons Planet Friendly Eggs cost 30p each or £1.50 for a pack of six. They are initially available in 50 Yorkshire stores and Morrisons new lower environmental impact store in Little Clacton, with a national rollout planned for 2023.

Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture at Morrisons, said: “This is our first carbon neutral product and there will be many more to come. It’s all part of our drive to be directly supplied only by ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030. We know our customers consider the environmental impact of the food they eat and want affordable zero emission produce. Eggs are a regular weekly purchase for most households and so we’re thrilled that after 18 months of hard work with our farmers – these eggs are finally hitting our shelves.”

Ian Bamford, Commercial Director Centre for Industrial Sustainability at the University of Cambridge, said: “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to review and analyse the approach that Morrisons have taken to calculating the carbon impact of several of their egg producers. It was clear that the mitigation actions that had been put in place by the first farm to produce carbon neutral eggs enabled them to meet that goal.”

Mark Williams, Chief Executive for the British Egg Industry Council, said: “It’s great to see that Morrisons has launched a carbon neutral British Lion egg pack under its own brand, in a first for a UK retailer. Eggs generally have a significantly lower environmental impact than other animal proteins and they are a highly nutritious, natural and great tasting choice for all the family. We look forward to seeing more green Lions in the near future.”

An insect ‘mini farm’ was introduced onto the egg farm to feed the hens. The ‘mini farm’ container, in which millions of insects are kept, was developed and powered by Better Origin. Each container can help feed 32,000 free range hens and receives three tonnes of waste from Morrisons fruit and vegetable site each week. The insects can grow to 5,000 times their initial body mass in less than 14 days.

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Fotis Fotiadis, CEO & Founder at Better Origin, said: “We are thrilled to see Morrisons introduce a carbon neutral product, powered by our technology, to the public. The current food supply chain isn’t sustainable in the long term and while it is certainly effective, it’s coming at a cost to the environment. Our ambition at Better Origin is to change that by creating a more sustainable circular food chain, so to finally see the first carbon neutral product from Morrisons hit the shelves is testament to the incredible work of the Morrisons team involved.”

(Lead image: Morrisons)

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