Going back to Roman times, Carmarthenshire has always been one of the UK’s most prominent food producers, renowned for natural wholesome produce and for the expertise of its people. It became known as the Garden of Wales. Today, this tradition is being strengthened by innovation, technology and a dynamic strategy. A rich heritage. A new perspective.
Whether using traditional methods or working from modern production units, whether the latest generation in a long line of producers or people with new ideas, the knowledge and skills of the producers are vital.
Food production contributes up to £30 million to the economy of Carmarthenshire. Now as part of the county’s overall economic strategy, new production and processing facilities are being built at the Cross Hands Food Park to add extra value to the raw produce.
Supported by financial incentives and imaginative strategies at both local and national level, the food sector in Carmarthenshire is as rich and varied as the land itself and as important for the future. Small producers have built up flourishing international businesses taking fine ingredients and high quality products throughout the UK and beyond.
Over one hundred local companies are listed in the Carmarthenshire Food Directory and which is available on the county’s website. The entries speak for themselves; they tell a tale of enterprise, technical innovation and expertise. Many have secured Wales True Taste Awards. New producers and products are added as they come on stream.
It is about adding value; taking the goodness of local meat, fish, vegetables, milk and dairy produce, preserves and beverages to create the kind of new products and dishes that modern consumers love. That is how vibrant the food sector is in Carmarthenshire. The development of the Cross Hands Food Park will enhance the county’s reputation by adding value to the Garden of Wales and for those that buy its produce.
Enterprise is in the blood; hard work is second nature. The workforce locally is hard-working and loyal, flexible in its approach to changing work practices, technology and shift patterns. It is productivity – allied to excellent labour relations – rather than lower earnings which makes Carmarthenshire so attractive to the burgeoning food sector, and which ultimately makes it so competitive.