The managing director of the company that is organising the first ever GWCT Welsh Game Fair is hoping to attract 20,000 visitors to the event at Vaynol Estate, near Bangor from September 9-11.
James Gower, from Stable Events Ltd, has revealed that visitors to the three day event, held in partnership with The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, will include a delegation from Abu Dhabi who will be looking to buy from Welsh businesses.
His company also organises The Game Fair at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire and The GWCT Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace, Perthshire. The Games Fair, which has been running since 1958, attracts 120,000 visitors annually.
Mr Gower revealed that the events his company organises are part of an international network of game fairs. His team is taking a host of UK exhibitors to ADIHEX, the Abu Dhabi based falconry and equestrian festival and celebration of the countryside, later this summer on a trade mission with support from the Department for International Trade.
ADIHEX will also be sponsoring the GWCT Welsh Game Fair, The Game Fair at Ragley Hall from July 29-31 and the GWCT Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace, Perthshire from July 1-3 and. All three Game Fairs are organised by Stable Events Ltd.
The agreement also sees the Emirates Falconers’ Club (EFC) taking part in the three Game Fairs alongside ADIHEX.
Mr Gower’s team will also be exhibiting at game fairs in France and Germany.
“There is a passion to do something very similar here in Wales and we are receiving some amazing support already,” he said. “I have recently signed a contract with Clogau Gold who win be sponsoring the VIP enclosure and White Park Restaurant run by Welsh celebrity chef Bryn Williams.
“There are lots of ways businesses and people can engage. They can set up their stall and sell to people, but it’s not simply that. Most of the supermarkets will have buyers at the event and a senior official from Abu Dhabi might be looking for suppliers.
“These large supplier deals happen often as a result of game fair relationships. A dairy company went to Abu Dhabi with us last year and is now supplying a chain of supermarkets in the region.
“Game fairs are the original food festivals; food is always part of the narrative. During the pandemic, people connected a lot more with the countryside and there is a renaissance around game fairs.
“People want to know where their food comes from and that its sustainable and excellent quality. They also don’t like the thought of it burning aviation fuel coming from New Zealand. They like food that is locally sourced and produced.”
He thanked Keith Jones and his family for hosting the GWCT Welsh Game Fair in the “fantastic” setting of Vaynol Estate.
“Wales has some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside which is home to people passionate about the landscape and the country pursuits taking place within it,” he added. “It’s high time we shone a spotlight on the Welsh countryside and this event is the perfect way to do it.”
Fishing, clay shooting, gundogs, game cookery, falconry, horses and hounds, as well as rural crafts, food and drink will feature at the event.
Visitors can look forward to a wide range of attractions, displays, live debates, shopping at hundreds of trade stands and family entertainment, all with a countryside theme.
The event will bring together representatives from a range of conservation, farming, field sports and fishing bodies for debates on Welsh rural issues. The aim is to foster greater communication and co-operation between sectors and promote the benefits of country pursuits and conservation to a wider audience.