About 35 participants made it to CAT for this workshop, organised by OCW and the Organic Growers Alliance. It acknowledged that these are very challenging times for many businesses and sought to thrash out a strategy to get the organic horticulture sector in Wales back onto a firmer footing.
It was a day of lively and positive discussion, and businesses across the supply chain were represented. By the end of the day some clear priorities had emerged including: Developing a network of local food hubs in Wales; developing new markets including catering/ hospitality, processing markets and local retail outlets shops; providing information on processing facilities and capacity for organic horticultural products in Wales; training on selling and presentation, HACCP; post harvest management and grading; promoting a better understanding of organic production among consumers; closer links with local communities including schools, community groups, amateur growers and CSA projects.
OCW is presently organising these ideas into a coherent plan, and will start looking for solutions, working in partnership with businesses, the Horticulture Wales project, the Welsh Assembly Government and other organisations.
Tony Little, from OCW and one of the workshop organisers, said 'It was a very successful meeting and I'd like to thank not only the speakers and my co-organisers, but the participants who struggled through the snow and ice to get there and contributed so actively. We have some clear priorities to work on, but I see this as the first step in a process. There is a long way to go before these become realities, but if everyone can get behind the plan, that's got to be good start'.
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