A SCHEME helping businesses in the Wye Valley stay afloat during the lockdown has been so successful that plans are already in place to keep it going well after the pandemic.

Brothers Kit and Matthew Newell, who own and run the Wye Valley Meadery, started the Friday weekly click and collect market in May to help producers get by over the following few months.

The scheme allowed independent producers across the area to sell directly to customers while avoiding contact.


It proved so successful it moved to Chepstow’s Drill Hall from its previous base at Station Road, with the new name ‘The Fine Food Cluster’. A total of 18 producers are now involved, with more than 50 orders placed most weeks.

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Wye Valley Producers

Minister for the environment, energy and rural affairs Lesley Griffiths visited the Wye Valley Meadery in Chepstow last week to see how they’d been getting on.

“I was delighted to meet the producers and to hear of the work they have been doing to help the community by coming together to offer a service that is safe and easy during this challenging time,” she said.

Residents ordered products online before attending the market, where they are given a number and can safely collect local produce, including bread, beer and cheese.

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Matthew Newell and Lesley Griffiths

Producers include Cinderhill Farm, Untapped Brewery, Netherend Farm Butter, Hollow Ash Orchard, Wye Valley Meadery, The Preservation Society, Humble by Nature, and Orchard’s Cider.

Matthew Newell said: “It’s been great and we’re delighted as a group that we’ve been able to support each other. We are still consulting on how and where we will keep it going, but we’re planning on a site somewhere near Chepstow where we can make this a bit more permanent.

“It’s made a huge difference for us and other producers. Some of the businesses, like ours, rely on meeting people – so this has been a great way to keep that going during lockdown.

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Angharad Underwood of the Preservation Society

“It was great to see that in this uncertain time for small food producers, we are getting support from Welsh Government. This project has been a success and with a long term vision, we hope it will go from strength to strength, providing jobs in the rural economy and championing the very best food the region has to offer.”

Angharad Underwood from the The Preservation Society, added: “The Fine Food Cluster has been absolutely brilliant, helping to facilitate and support the development of the Wye Valley Producer Group. Practical support has been provided to realise the idea and identify solutions for issues.”