22 June 2001

Boost for Welsh produce

EFFORTS to add value to Welsh farm produce have been boosted by a new product development centre and injections of European and Welsh Assembly cash.

Opening Food Centre Waless new £1.7m research and development wing at Horeb, Cardiganshire, Carwyn Jones, the assemblys rural development minister, said that innovative products matching internationally recognised standards were needed for increasingly discerning consumers.

"The way forward is to differentiate our products," Mr Jones claimed.

A new lamb-based Welsh sausage, developed by technicians at Horeb in collaboration with five prize-winning Welsh retail butchers, was a good example of how value could be added beyond the farm gate, he said.

Mr Jones announced that Horeb, which was established in 1996, would get a third of the £1.4m of EU Objective 1 funding awarded to Welsh agri-food sectors for the next three years, and £85,000 from the Welsh Development Agency.

About £45,000 of WDA funding would also be used for joint projects linking the food centre with others in Anglesey and Cardiff. &#42