With international travel restrictions due to Covid-19, a Powys brewery and other businesses have embraced technology to do business virtually.
Monty’s Brewery and other Welsh food and drinks businesses have signed up to the Welsh Government’s Virtual Trade Development Visit Programme.
They will attend two virtual Trade Development Visits in February and March, looking to export to Canada and Switzerland.
They will get the chance to make connections with prospective buyers, distributors and importers in a fraction of the time a physical Trade Development Visit demands.
With the hospitality sector closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, food and drinks businesses are looking for new opportunities overseas.
Russ Honeyman, commercial director for Monty’s Brewer said: “This is a great opportunity to expand our export opportunities. In these tough times in the home market with pubs and bars closed, by participating in a virtual Trade Development Visit we can get our products in front of other markets. It is a new way of doing business and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.”
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “During the global Covid-19 pandemic, international travel has become less and less of a practical option for our exporters-howeve, our Virtual Trade Development Visit programme has posed an increasingly attractive alternative for companies who may have to physically stay in their home countries, but we are still determined to highlight their products to international audiences.”
Welsh language music promotion
Schools across Wales celebrated Dydd Miwsig Cymru 2021 on Friday 5th February.
Anna Griggs, headteacher at Montgomery School, said: “We always look forward to Dydd Miwsig Cymru as it is an excellent chance to promote and celebrate our Welsh language and also experience live and recorded music.”
As part of the Expressive Arts Curriculum, the children spent the afternoon listening to and evaluating songs from a range of contemporary Welsh bands and singers such as Elin Fflur and Rhys Gwynfor.
The pupils had the opportunity to listen to a range of different genres of music including rap, pop and indie. The pupils then wrote their own evaluations using their Welsh writing skills.
Martha in Year 4 posted to the school’s Expressive Arts TEAM: “I recommend listening to a Welsh singer called Geraint Lovgreen because he has got a good voice. He is originally from Newtown and his daughter is a Welsh speaking TV presenter called Mari.” Martha then shared a link for her friends to enjoy the music too.
The children also took on the role of Radio DJ, devising scripts to introduce the songs, and recorded and shared their completed audio files.
Ms Griggs added: “This was a great real-life application of curriculum interconnections and a range of skills that pupils continue to develop.”
Monty Hour talks independence
The first Monty Hour in February welcomed David Thomas from Montgomery Civic Society with a presentation on 150 years of history from the Old Bell archive.
The photographs showed how the town has changed over the years, and there were glimpses of people participating in social events, elections, and a range of sports and pastimes, including boxing.
On February 10, the Monty Hour explored Independence for Wales.
Elwyn Vaughan from Plaid Cymru reflected on the history of the Welsh nation, the seminal part Montgomery played when King Henry III recognised Llewelyn ap Gruffydd as Prince of a sovereign country, and its position as the first truly industrialised nation.
Considering lessons from countries such as Ireland and Scotland and the growth of nationalism, Elwyn explored the economic and social case for independence.
Following an expertly delivered talk to an audience across over 50 screens, Elwyn fielded questions ranging from potential of links with Europe to scepticism regarding the seemingly intractable problems of the English border, doubts as to economic stability and concerns regarding ever greater centralisation of democratic power to Cardiff.
It was clear an independent Wales may not be universally welcomed in this border town.
On February 24, Sue Michaels will speak about “An Indian orphanage, handicraft and leopards” bringing alive her 2019 trip to India, as a volunteer with the Trefoil Guild.
To join the Monty Hour, view recordings, or find details of scheduled events on Wednesdays 7-8pm, go to https://montgomery.cloud/hour