Has Brecon got what it takes to achieve Real Food Town status?

Few would contend that the choice of local Welsh food in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park is as bountiful as the rain, but one could still debate at great length what it means to be a Real Food Town.  Is it a place where local food is culturally unique, sustainable, celebrated and plentiful attracting people from all over the world or is it simply the ability to offer a wonderfully diverse range of talented local food producers, food festivals and Farmers’ Markets?

Local businesses, food producers, B&B owners, hospitality providers, restaurants, pubs and cafes – in fact anyone who is passionate about food – are being invited to join in what promises to be a lively debate, complete with a panel of food experts from Taste Real Food UK and Wales.  The events starts at 6.00pm and aims to discuss questions such as ‘what is real food?’; ‘what would a Real Food Town look like?’ and ‘how would we get there?’  Local beer, cider and cheese will be available to try and the promise of good company.

The idea behind the event came from the Brecon Collabor8 group who began meeting late last year to discuss ways to improve tourism in Brecon for the benefit of visitors and the local community alike.  Supported by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, who are working in partnership with the Ludlow-based campaign, Taste Real Food UK, the event aims to give local people the chance to enjoy, explore and promote the taste of real food.  The Park Authority also plan to support the set up of a local Brecon Taste Real Food group by funding membership of the organisation for the first ten businesses that want to get this going.

Nick Stewart, Collabor8 Project Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “The importance of food to the tourism industry has increased significantly within the last ten years and the availability of high quality, local food has become increasingly important for visitors deciding on destinations.  We hope as many people as possible turn up to this event and be enthused enough to support local people, like Janet Williams from Pilgrims Tearooms near Brecon Cathedral who is hoping to lead the development of a Brecon-based Taste Real Food Group.  We hope that this is the beginning of Brecon achieving Real Food Town status.” 

John Fleming, a Director of Taste Real Food UK commented:  “We encourage local culture and diversity by highlighting, supporting and promoting the rich variety and high quality of local food and drink.  We believe that by encouraging the use of Real Food we make a significant step towards preserving our environment and our planet. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority to promote the value of Real Food to Brecon’s visitors, business and local community”.

If you would like to attend the event or would like more information on how you can take part in the benefits of Collabor8 please contact Nick Stewart on 01874 620 490 or email nick.stewart@breconbeacons.org