'Pitiful' amount of Welsh produce at museum, says Plaid Cymru

National Museum Cardiff The £28m contract was re-awarded to French-owned Elior in January

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National Museum Wales is facing criticism over the amount of Welsh food and drink its private caterers are required to serve.

French-owned Elior has a 10-year contract requiring that a minimum of 22% to 24% of Welsh produce is served.

Plaid Cymru said the museum was a showcase to the world and the situation was "unacceptable".

The museum said it wanted Welsh produce but also value for money from a firm with the required expertise.

The £28m contract affects National Museum Cardiff; St Fagans: National History Museum; and the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.

It was re-awarded in January to Elior, which has provided the museum's catering services since 2006.

Details of the Welsh produce requirement in the contract have emerged following a series of Freedom of Information requests by Plaid Cymru.

The contract gives the company a target of using a minimum of 22% of food and drink produced in Wales in its first year, rising gradually to reach 24% in year five.

'Pitifully small'

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Lindsay Whittle said: "The national museum is one of Wales' most important showcases to the world, welcoming well over one million visitors every year.

"But here we have a situation where the museum officials are failing to showcase Welsh produce, which I find unacceptable."

Mr Whittle described the museum's Welsh produce targets as "pitifully small".

"It should have ensured a far greater Welsh produce input into its catering contract and it is disappointing that they've been so unambitious," he added.

Responding to the criticism, the museum said in a statement: "As a public body we had to balance our desire for Welsh produce against our needs to obtain best value and to appoint a partner with the skills and expertise to operate successful catering concessions at three of our major sites."

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