Deputy Minister for Food and Farming, Rebecca Evans, attended NFU Cymru’s first ever Next Generation Policy Group meeting, in Cardiff recently, to discuss the crucial role that young farmers will play in thefuture of the farming industry.
The newly formed NFU Cymru Next Generation Policy Group comprises of 21 young farmers from all corners of Wales, who represent Wales’ main farming sectors. Each member was chosen because of their keen interest, passion and expertise in the industry and it is hoped their views will be a valuable contribution to long-term NFU Cymru thinking.
Following the first ever NFU Cymru Next Generation Policy Group meeting, the Deputy Minister, Rebecca Evans, said, “I was pleased to attend NFU Cymru’s first ever Next Generation Policy Group meeting and fully expect many of the young farmers I met there to emerge as the opinion formers and inspirational leaders of the agriculture industry in Wales over the coming years.
“We are extremely fortunate to have a wealth of energetic young people eager to establish themselves as farmers and leaders of the industry. It is heartening to know that such a platform exists for the next generation to discuss the issues at hand, and be willing to face them head on. This can only be good for all of us and I am pleased that we are on this journey together.”
NFU Cymru Deputy President, John Davies, said, “It’s been great to meet up with this group of young farmers and their passion and commitment for the future of agriculture in Wales has been clear for us all to see. This group is so important to the future of the farming industry and ensuring that NFU Cymru hears the thoughts and ideas of the next generation of farmers, the people who will be at the heart of the industry in the future is absolutely vital to us.
“By engaging with the next generation of farmers and growers, and bringing them into the fold to discuss the issues that we will face in the coming years means that NFU Cymru will be better prepared to cope with the challenges that come our way.”
The group was also addressed by Pearce Hughes, Agricultural Development Manager at ASDA Stores Ltd, who provided a detailed overview of the work ASDA is doing in developing stronger relationships with their farmer suppliers with a focus on productivity and efficient output on farms.
John Davies added, “We know that with financial support for agriculture in decline, the return that we all get from the marketplace becomes more important. It was useful for the group to learn more about how ASDA are working with farmers and I feel strongly that we will need more effective engagement with the retailers and the wider food supply chain in moving forward with our businesses.”
Euryn Jones, Regional Agriculture Director for HSBC Bank, provided the group with a global perspective on agricultural commodity markets and looked at the opportunities offered by growing global consumer demand, as well as giving an insight into the banking perspective on the impacts of volatile markets on farming businesses.
John Davies ended, “The impacts of market volatility are being keenly felt by all sectors of the industry in Wales at the current time, however, I’ve been hugely impressed by our newly formed Next Generation Policy Group and their appreciation of the global dynamics impacting on their businesses and their obvious desire to drive their businesses and the whole industry forward.”