The award, which was first presented in 2019, recognises a commitment to the economic, environmental, social and cultural wellbeing of Wales.
During a presentation at the NFU Cymru conference on Thursday 2 November, Clive and his son Ed were presented with a prize of £500 and a Welsh slate engraved barometer.
About the farm
The Swans farm in the fertile fields of Mold, north-east Wales, is home to a 150-beef cattle herd. Having started with two pigs in 2010, they now have over 100 and also run a flock of free-range hens. All of these animals supply their bustling farm shop which the family, made up of Clive, wife Gail, son Ed and daughter Rebecca, opened in March 2003.
They pride themselves on offering a fine food shopping experience with exceptional home produced and locally produced food. The Swan family have farmed the 200 acres since 1980 and their emphasis has always been on minimum food miles and traceability.
Taking the farm to the next level
Since joining the business full time in December 2021, Clive and Gail’s son Ed has been committed to taking the farm and shop to the next level by focusing on sustainability and their environmental impact.
It’s not ‘just a farm shop’, the Swans now have a farm-to-shop-trail to educate members of the public where people can walk around the farm and see the free-range pigs, the beef suckler herd, free range hens, honeybees and barley and wheat growing in the fields. Ed has also branched out into growing pumpkins and sunflowers which are extremely popular with the general public.
Hosting farm visits
They host regular farm tours and educational visits for children, the WI, Scouts and local community groups. For some locals, a visit to the farm shop is their weekly interaction with other people and it is also a safe place for members of the local community to go to when they are struggling, and the family offer a warm welcome and a listening ear.
Hedd Pugh, NFU Cymru Rural Affairs Board Chairman, one of the judges for the award, said: “I’d like to congratulate the Swan family on winning this award. It’s great to see the farm running alongside the shop and how they’ve managed to integrate the two businesses and involve customers in the whole process from farm to fork.
Farming and the environment
“Producing high quality products whilst maintaining, protecting and enhancing the environment makes the Swans a fantastic example of how productive, efficient food production, environmental management and climate change mitigation measures can go hand in hand.
“The wide and varied roles that their family play in the rural community, in education and their interaction with the general public makes them a true Sustainable Agriculture Champion, a shining example of the contribution that Welsh farmers make to the economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of Wales.”
A word from the sponsors
Bryn Hughes, National Sheep & Beef Specialist at Wynnstay, who also judged the award said: “Wynnstay are very pleased to be sponsors of the Sustainable Agriculture award. The standard of entries and the finalists for this year’s award show the quality and diversity of our faming across Wales. In an ever-changing economic and political environment, sustainable agriculture is key to the long-term prosperity of our farm businesses and to underpinning a thriving agri-food supply chain in Wales.”