NFU Cymru meets with Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

08 April 2022

Political lobbying Food chain
NFU Cymru Deputy President Abi Reader with Jo Stevens MP

NFU Cymru was pleased to welcome the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and Cardiff Central MP, Jo Stevens, out to the farm of the union’s Deputy President, Abi Reader.

With Abi’s farm situated just a short distance from Cardiff, and incorporating dairy, sheep, beef, and arable enterprises, it was a fantastic opportunity for Jo to discover more about the different sectors and the challenges they are currently facing.

Commenting on the visit, Ms Reader said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome Jo out to Goldsland Farm today. We’ve been able to have a wide-ranging discussion, covering off a number of important points. Foremost amongst those has been the humanitarian tragedy in Ukraine which has unfolded over the last few weeks, and the impacts that are rippling out from that.

Farm business viability

“As with every part of the economy, the war in Ukraine has exacerbated pre-existing inflationary and supply chain pressures. My fear is that these will soon have impacts on farm business viability and on the scale of domestic agricultural production. The fragility of food security and the importance of maintaining productive capacity domestically have really been brought to the fore by the events of the last six-weeks.    

“As farmers, we are experiencing unprecedented costs when buying fertiliser, and other key inputs such as diesel, alongside tightening supplies. I want Wales to maintain its position as a global leader in climate-friendly food, and I do not want to see our production levels dropping, however if this is to be avoided farmers need to have the confidence in the future viability of their industry.

Food security must be a priority

“Although discussions around rising energy and fuel costs have been very prominent in recent times, we need some clear signals from government that food security is a priority for the nation. I am really grateful to Jo Stevens for coming out to visit me. As a member of the Shadow Cabinet, she has a vital role to play in holding the UK Government to account and ensuring it recognises the strategic importance of the agricultural sector and protecting its productive capacity, in every decision it makes.”

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