LAST WEEK, a host of leading seafood businesses from across Wales made the trip across the Irish Sea, having set their sights on learning more ways to grow their catch and their profits.
Organised as part of the Welsh Government’s Seafood Cluster, the three day visit to Ireland which took place between Monday (May 23) and Thursday (May 26) aimed to highlight the current different innovation that exists within the Irish seafood market.
The trip also aimed to explore how this innovation could be replicated in Wales to make the seafood industry more prosperous.
During the visit, Welsh seafood businesses will be taught more about how the Irish industry manages to sustain itself both at home and abroad, as well as gaining added insight into Irish farming and catching methods.
Amongst the attendees is Mandy Walters of family-run business Cardigan Bay Fish, who have been catching and processing fish and shellfish for nearly twenty years.
Mandy said: “Visiting Ireland with like-minded seafood businesses provides us with a unique chance to meet and discuss with other businesses in the industry.
“By learning new techniques and ideas, the visit widens our horizons as we look for new opportunities.
“The Seafood Cluster, which was established last year, is a great idea and if it gets people talking, working and sharing ideas, it can only be a good thing.”
During the trip, it is planned for the group to also visit Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s Seafood Development Centre, which is a state-of-the-art facility that helps businesses grow, become sustainable and profitable, and introduce value added offerings that meet customers’ requirements.
Delegates will also visit a mussel fleet in Wexford Harbour, visit a local scallop and prawn fleet, a shellfish processing factory and an oyster farm.
Another business which is hoping to pick up new innovative ideas from the Irish visit is Richard Williams from WM Shellfish Ltd.
Richard said: “We are excited to be part of this trip, particularly a visit to the Seafood Development Centre, a dedicated innovation centre for the industry – something we don’t have in Wales.
“I’m sure it will be a very educational and eye-opening tour and will create connections for future business opportunities.”
The Welsh Seafood Cluster is part of the Welsh Government’s Business Development Programme, which provides individual support to help Welsh fisheries to create jobs and sustainable economic growth.
The Welsh Government is hoping soon to return the favour and invite a group of Irish fishermen for a visit to Wales in the near future.
Time given to develop Parc Natur Penglais
VOLUNTEERS, including students, have given around 500 hours of their time to develop Parc Natur Penglais.
Along with support from Ceredigion County Council, the Group have built around 100 steps in 5 different places which has made the park a great place to walk, play and enjoy around a number of safe paths.
Councillor Mark Strong said: “Knowing that we have the support of the local community makes such a difference to peoples’ enthusiasm and having the grant from Aberystwyth Town Council, Cambrian News and Tesco made it possible. Volunteers can make a relatively small sum of money go long way.”
RSPCA aim for Christmas number one
MUSIC fans across Wales can help the RSPCA secure the Christmas number one slot, and provide vital support for animals in need across the country.
The animal welfare charity has thrown its hat into the ring to claim the festive chart accolade – as up-and-coming singer Lucy Ellie covers Simply Red’s hit song ’Stars’ in aid of the RSPCA.
‘Stars’ is the soundtrack to the charity’s ‘Kindness at Christmas’ video, which has already gone viral with over two million views online across a variety of platforms.
The tear-jerking video tells the story of Woody the Christmas toy pup who who is thrown out with the rubbish before being rescued and taken in for care by the RSPCA.
Proceeds from the single are being donated to the RSPCA to help in their work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of animals every year.
RSPCA Cymru is again bracing itself for a busy festive period. In December 2016 and January 2017 alone, in Wales, 5,932 incidents were reported to the RSPCA – with 141 of these on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Lucy Ellie Cooper, who works at the charity, said: “This was a lovely opportunity for me to combine my two loves – animals and music.
“Outside of my job at the RSPCA I am a country music singer and songwriter, so when the chance came up to record such a fantastic and well-known song for the charity’s Christmas video, I jumped at it. I really hope people will take Woody’s story into their hearts and support the RSPCA this winter.”
You can help the RSPCA rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals in desperate need of care, and support the charity’s ‘kindness’ campaign online
Charity games raise over £2000
NOT all heroes wear capes and Tesco Aberystwyth’s very own Community Champion, Natasha Worrall has proven this raising a staggering £2,096.27 for local and national charities.
Natasha, the brainchild behind the charity football events, came up with the idea first off by challenging Tesco’s neighbours, Marks and Spencer’s, to a football match, she quickly set her powers to work and contacted Aberystwyth Football club who were more than happy to help and allowed use of the pitch.
The Big Day arrived, there was a lot of tension and passion on the pitch that night, it was more than just about winning a match it was the status, the pride and most of all bringing people together to raise money for three great causes; Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Mind. Hundreds of supporters braved the cold October evening to support the players and Tesco stole the show with a 7-1 victory and an amazing £607 was raised.
Natasha now had a taste of success under her cape and wanted to really get this event of the ground and challenged supermarket rivals, Morrisons to a match! The response for Tesco vs Morrisons was just what Natasha wanted and a November date was set.
Tesco now had experience in their boots and both teams had everything to play for. Victory once again went to Tesco who pipped Morrisons at the post and clawed back to a 5-4 victory raising a further £648.15 for Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Clic Sargent.
In true football fashion Natasha wanted a hat trick but could Team Tesco achieve this? Last Sunday (Dec 3) seemed the perfect opportunity and the opponents who were up for the challenge came from Bronglais Hospital and their chosen charity Pila Pala, Llwyn yr Eos. What a match! And what great team to take victory, Hywel Dda 2 – Tesco – 0. A rematch could certainly be on the cards especially as they raised the biggest amount ever of £841.12.
Behind every success there is always great team and working with Natasha and the players a number of local heroes who helped, Ruth’s kitchen provided heroic meals for all the players for a £1 donation, Aberystwyth women’s Team loaned their footballs, the Referees, linesmen, stewards, security, first aiders and ball boys and girls who all donated their time free of charge.
Team Tesco are looking for more opponents to play and raise even more money for local charities, if you are interested please call into Tesco store and see Natasha.
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