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Overview of the survey

The Welsh Government has commissioned IFF Research to undertake the fifth year of the Trade Survey for Wales. The aim of this survey is to continue to improve our understanding of trade flows into and out of business operations in Wales, which in turn, helps us to improve business support interventions around trade.

As part of this research, IFF Research will be gathering information through an online survey of businesses. Any data entered into the survey by the closing date may be used for analysis even if you are unable to complete every survey question. If you would like to remove your data before the closing date, please contact

The Welsh Government is the data controller for the research. The Welsh Government will receive a copy of the data collected by IFF Research.

The information collected during the project will be included in a report published on the Welsh Government website, and anonymised data will also be shared with the Office for National Statistics as part of a related project estimating within-UK trade. The answers to the survey may be linked anonymously to other data sources for research projects carried out by accredited researchers such as academics. Trade Survey Wales data may be made available via the UK Data Service. No information allowing individual businesses to be identified will be made public and we never share or use your information for commercial or marketing purposes.  

Your participation in this research is completely voluntary. However, your views and experiences are important in order to help inform Welsh Government policies.

The contact for this research at IFF Research is:

Sarah Howell
Telephone: 020 7250 3035

What personal data do we hold and where do we get this information?

Personal data is defined under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) as ‘any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified by reference to an identifier’.

The Welsh Government has provided IFF Research with your company name and company contact details, sourced from the Office for National Statistics. IFF have written to you using these details with the instructions on how to complete the survey online (which includes a unique code for your company).

Completing the survey will not capture your email or IP address and as such the survey will be anonymous. However, we would like to be able to contact you again for the following reasons:

  • IFF Research would like to follow up if there are any queries with your survey responses. This will ensure the analysis is as robust as possible.
  • The Welsh Government may want to re-contact you at a later point to invite you to participate in future trade-related research linked to information provided in the Trade Survey for Wales. If you agree to be re-contacted for this purpose and are then invited to participate in future research, you can still decline to participate at that point in time.

If you would like to agree to one or both of the above, then the survey provides you the opportunity to enter your contact details (name, email address and phone number) as well as confirm which purpose(s) you are content to be re-contacted for.

Though not personal data, any commercial information you provide will be held in confidence and used for statistical and research purposes only. No information that allows individual businesses to be identified will be made public.

Your participation is voluntary and if you do not wish to take part or be sent reminders then please email and your details will be removed.

If you raise a query or complaint and provide personal data requesting a response, the researcher will forward the request only to the relevant official or contact at IFF Research and subsequently delete the personal data.

What is the lawful basis for using your data?

The lawful basis for processing information in this data collection exercise is our public task; that is, exercising our official authority to undertake the core role and functions of the Welsh Government.

Participation is completely voluntary. Research studies such as this are important for the Welsh Government to collect information and actionable evidence about its ability to deliver government priorities. The information collected in this research, for example, might be used to:

  • identify and improve business support needs
  • support competitiveness and productivity in Wales
  • strengthen the case on what matters most for Wales when negotiating future trade deals
  • provide a better public understanding of Wales’ economy by helping to improve and create new economic statistics.

How secure is your personal data?

Personal information and research data provided to IFF Research is always stored on a secure server, based in the UK. The data can only be accessed by a limited number of researchers working on this project. IFF Research will only use this data for research purposes. IFF Research have Cyber Essentials certification and also holds ISO/IEC 27001:2013 accreditation (the international standard for information security).

When conducting surveys, IFF Research use a survey software programme called Merlin. We have ensured that Merlin is UK GDPR compliant and meets our expectations in terms of the security of any data collected via the software.

IFF Research has procedures to deal with any suspected data security breaches. If a suspected breach occurs, this will be reported to the Welsh Government who will notify you and any applicable regulator where we are legally required to do so.

Any personal data provided to Welsh Government is held on secure servers, and for this project a folder has been created that has access restricted only to the immediate research team. The personal data you provide will be stored in this restricted folder. The information will only be used for research purposes.

Welsh Government will use the information gathered to produce analyses that will be published on the Welsh Government website. This report will not include any information that could be used to identify individual participants or businesses. We do not share or use your information for commercial or marketing purposes.

Where the Welsh Government undertakes follow up research in support of the purposes outlined above, this work may be carried out by an accredited third party (e.g. a research organisation or a consultancy company). Any such work will only be undertaken under contract. Welsh Government’s standard terms and conditions for such contracts set out strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data.

How long do we keep your personal data?

IFF Research will hold personal data during the contract period, and all names and contact details will be deleted from IFF Research’s records three months after the contract end date. This includes your contact details.

For year 5 of the Trade Survey for Wales, IFF Research will provide a final dataset to the Welsh Government for approval and sign-off by March 2024, including any recontact details that were provided during the survey. Welsh Government will remove any recontact information within three years from dataset sign-off. No information that allows individual businesses to be identified will be made public.

Individual rights

Under UK GDPR, you have the following rights in relation to the personal information you provide as a respondent to the Trade Survey for Wales:

  • to access a copy of your own data
  • for us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
  • to object to or restrict processing (in certain circumstances)
  • for your data to be ‘erased’ (in certain circumstances)
  • to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is our independent regulator for data protection

The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Website: Information Commissioner’s Office

Further Information

If you have any further questions about how the data provided as part of this study will be used by the Welsh Government or wish to exercise your rights using the UK General Data Protection Regulation, please contact:

Cerys Ponting

The Welsh Government’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted at:

Welsh Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ