LESLEY Griffiths, the Welsh Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, praised Aber Falls distillery for the dynamic sparkle it adds to the Welsh food and drinks industry.

During a visit to the distillery at Abergwyngregyn, west of Conwy, she expressed confidence that post Brexit the industry will continue to thrive.

She explained the latest industry figures reveal a record turnover figure of £7.473 billion for Wales’ food and drink sector in 2019, surpassing the ambitious target set in 2014 to achieve 30% growth and reach £7billion of sales by 2020. In 2018, 73% of all Welsh food & drink exports went to the European Union.

The Wales’ drinks market made a significant contribution to that figure with a turnover of £902 million in the last year – representing a growth of 35% in the sector since 2014.

North Wales Pioneer:

James Wright and Lesley Griffiths. Picture: Kerry Roberts

She said Aber Falls adds a dynamic sparkle and along with other North Wales drink companies have gone from strength to strength in recent years with Wrexham Lager, Purple Moose and Aber Falls, just three that have achieved success in the UK and abroad.”

“Aber Falls is a thriving company that uses localised supply chains to create their quality products whiskies and gins. As a relatively recent new company, it is encouraging to see how they have established exports to contribute to the growth of their business.

“But we can’t ignore the fact Brexit is going to have a major impact on our businesses. I have been very clear with the UK Government about how we believe trade negotiations should progress. It’s really important we can continue to trade with the EU and don’t give our competitors an extra advantage.

“The Welsh brand is something worth celebrating and with the right conditions in place, I see no reason why our food and drinks sector cannot continue to prosper.”

North Wales Pioneer:

James Wright with Lesley Griffiths. Picture: Kerry Roberts

James Wright, Managing Director of Aber Falls Distillery added: “North Wales has really developed as a hub for food and drink, the natural landscape that the region provides ensures resources are already in place to use sustainably sourced local ingredients.

“With provenance and sustainability high on the agenda for consumers and producers alike, Aber Falls has, since its inception, been making strong headway with the Welsh Government in establishing a new field to field philosophy; in a first for North Wales this has involved working with the National Farmers Union Cymru and Bangor University to reap the rewards of the land around us.

“The Welsh Government’s focus on food and drink is integral to the long term success of the distillery.”