New businesses have been able to access monthly online sessions to develop their businesses.

Food Centre Wales is supporting food and drink businesses by offering online sessions, even though the centre has been closed because of the coronavirus.

For many, the lockdown has been an opportunity to experiment in the kitchen, and social media has been awash with people sharing their baking creations – flour has been like gold dust and the demand for bake at home kits has been huge. This has provided opportunity for people to get creative in the kitchen and rediscover their love of cooking.

It may feel daunting to start a business now. However, as we begin to ease out of lockdown, the changing world in which we now live and work has created new opportunities. It’s a great time to examine the market and what your business can offer to your local and wider community.

A perfect example is Y Gegin Maldod, which is a confectionary business that was supported by Food Centre Wales to set up quickly and efficiently during lockdown.

The team of Food Technologists assisted the business through the process of a remote Environmental Health inspection, ensuring all the correct systems were in place to operate safely from home. Food Centre Wales also helped with labelling to ensure accurate ingredients and allergen listing, shelf life information and legal product descriptions.

Louise Waring from y Gegin Maldod said: “Without the support from Food Centre Wales I can honestly say I would not be running the business now. I’d still be trying to work out HACCP plans and what I needed for my labels – I certainly wouldn’t have had the Environmental Health Officer’s approval to trade. Their support has been priceless to me, as I now have an income in at a time when I would otherwise have nothing. They even helped with sharing their contacts with other baking producers and ingredients suppliers, which has saved me money.”

Arwyn Davies, Corporate Manager Growth and Enterprise, Ceredigion County Council, said: “We’re proud to be able to continue to offer our start-up sessions online. Our food technologists are available to help you navigate your way through a range of food disciplines and regulations – we look forward to help you take your first tentative steps to set up a food or drink business.”

Have you created a fantastic product, come up with an idea for a quirky brand, and want to share your product with the rest of the world? There are online Start-up Sessions available for free. You can register your interest on Food Centre Wales’ website