The first ever Food Vale Festival will celebrate local businesses and highlight opportunities to improve local food systems.

Individuals and businesses from across the Vale of Glamorgan are coming together this March to get involved with a new virtual food festival.

The inaugural Food Vale Festival will take place from 22nd March – 4th April 2021 and will include a series of virtual events designed to bring people closer to food producers and businesses in the Vale, whilst highlighting opportunities to improve the local food system, post-Covid 19

The festival is being organised by Food Vale, part of the Sustainable Food Places network – a partnership programme led by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

Food Vale aims to help to build a more sustainable local food system and improve the access, affordability and availability of good food across the Vale of Glamorgan.

Louise Denham is the festival organiser and Sustainable Food Places co-ordinator at Food Vale. She explained:

“The last 12 months has been a really challenging time for everyone; individuals, families, food producers, and food business owners right across the Vale of Glamorgan.

“But there now seems to be a real appetite to build back better after Covid-19, and to create a thriving, local food system which celebrates the unique character of the Vale and connects its communities.

“The Food Vale Festival aims to celebrate this local groundswell in support for a more connected county, whilst highlighting Food Vale’s three key aims; to ensure a good meal for everybody every day; to support local food businesses to thrive; and to connect local and global food opportunities.”

The festival has received funding through the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The Food Vale Festival Programme

Online cook-along events form a significant part of the Food Vale festival programme, with Richard Shaw from Cooking Together providing free cookery demonstrations suitable for the whole family. His recipes will include a Friday Night Curry, Fruit Muffins, and even an Easter Egg Pizza.

There will also be a virtual tour of Cowbridge Farmer’s Market, which has continued to operate and thrive throughout the Covid-19 outbreak; and of Barry’s Community Garden, Gibby Green Fingers.

Amy Greenfield from Awesome.Wales – the Vale’s first zero waste store – will host a  takeover of the Food Vale Twitter account, sharing her expertise on how to reduce waste in the home.

Three new films have also been created to showcase some of the sustainable food businesses in the local area; Cobbles Kitchen and Deli and Forage Farm Shop are both featured. The films will be shared on Food Vale’s social media channels throughout the festival period.

The third film will feature Cadogs Corner, a community café which uses donated FareShare food to provide wholesome meals for the café and provide cooking workshops and food parcels for vulnerable families. It was set up by parents and staff at Cadoxton Primary School to address isolation and food poverty, while offering opportunities for pupils and parents to learn new skills like cooking and food hygiene.

Natasha Cockram, who runs Cadogs Corner, said:

“We are thrilled to be part of the Food Vale festival, highlighting the importance of everyone having access to good food. For us, it’s also great to show how communities in the Vale can work together to support each other in times of need.”

To stay up to date with the Food Vale Festival, join the Facebook event, and get involved on social media by using the hashtags #FoodValeFest and #GwylBwydYFro.