Grants for the purposes mentioned by my hon. Friend have already been introduced in England. The Processing and Marketing Grant scheme is an important element in the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-13. It is designed to assist in the achievement of improved competitiveness by boosting productivity, creating enhanced added value and applying innovative technology. It is aimed at Welsh farmers, growers, foresters, food and drink manufacturers and processors. Assistance aimed at providing their English counterparts with the same benefits is provided under Axis 1 of the Rural Development Programme for England, which includes a range of measures designed to increase the competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry sectors. The budget for the whole of Axis 1 is some £250 million over the Programming period 2007-13.
As part of our programme to support the quality regional food sector in England, DEFRA has provided funding for a number of award schemes with similar objectives to the True Taste of Wales programme. These include:
1. The Guild of Fine Foods Retailers’ annual Great Taste Awards and associated promotional events, such as Taste British Gold: a two-week in- store promotion featuring gold winners from the Taste Awards
2. The AA Regional Food Awards aimed at showcasing and encouraging the use of quality regional ingredients and
3. The Daily Telegraph Taste of Britain awards which are a celebration of good quality local and regional British food.