Sustainable Farming Conference 2023

A graphic with information about the conference and a picutre of Edward Griffith with his son.

NFU Cymru will once again showcase the harmonious relationship between agriculture and the environment with the return of the union’s Sustainable Farming Conference on Thursday 28 September 2023.

Titled ‘Shaping Welsh Farming’s Future’, the Wynnstay sponsored on-farm event will promote the crucial role of farmers in Wales in producing high quality food alongside protecting, maintaining and enhancing the farmed environment, along with underpinning our rural communities and the Welsh language.

The event will begin with tea and coffee at 10.30am and will be hosted at Bodwi, Mynytho, Pwllheli, LL53 7SG by kind permission of Edward Griffith and family.

Net zero focus

The third Sustainable Farming Conference hosted by NFU Cymru will focus on farming’s net zero journey, with keynote speaker Professor John Gilliland. John is an award-winning willow and livestock farmer from Northern Ireland, whose farm has independently been verified to be ‘Beyond’ Net Zero, today. He is also Professor of Practice in Agriculture and Sustainability at Queens University, Belfast.

There will be a sustainable farming in practice session, with a farmer panel highlighting the economic, environmental, social and cultural contribution of farming to Wales, and finally, weather permitting, a short farm work showcasing some of the environmental and net zero action being undertaken at Bodwi.

Symbiotic relationship between farming and the environment

“This event is all about celebrating the symbiotic relationship between farming and the environment. It’s a conference that shines a light on all of the great work Welsh farmers do to maintain and enhance nature, biodiversity and habitats in and around their farms, their contribution to net zero and their local communities alongside their core role as food producers."
NFU Cymru President, Aled Jones

NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “I expect this year’s Sustainable Farming Conference will be a useful forum for constructive discussion between all those who share an   interest in delivering the environmental benefits we all wish to see at this pivotal time for the industry, as Welsh Government continues to work on its future farm policy, the Sustainable Farming Scheme.

“We are of course very grateful to the Griffith family for hosting this year’s conference and Wynnstay Plc, who are our event sponsors.  I’m sure the planned tour of this fantastic farm will be a real highlight of the day.”

Want to learn more about the Griffiths?

Edward Griffith and his family featured in our monthly membership magazine, Farming Wales. It was focused on their carbon conscious credentials. Read about the Griffiths family farm.

Keynote speaker

Recently appointed to the EU’s Soil Mission Board and a special advisor to the UK’s Agriculture Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), John Gilliland, is a willow and livestock farmer from N. Ireland, whose farm has independently been verified to be “Beyond” Net Zero, today. He is also the Professor of Practice in Agriculture and Sustainability at Queens University Belfast; and chair of the innovative, EIP-Agri funded, farmer led, carbon farming project, ARC Zero,

As an alumni of the US International Visitor Leadership Program, John Gilliland is highly respected and recognised as an excellent leader and communicator across the breadth of the Agri Food and Sustainable Land Management Sectors. This has included presentations to the Joint EU Agriculture & Environment Council, Bratislava, and the Global Summit on Soil Security, Sydney, where he was awarded “Best Paper.”

He has been an award winning farmer in Ireland; President of the Ulster Farmers Union; a Non Executive Director of the Scottish Rural College (SRUC), and an Energy Regulator in N. Ireland; while at the same time, he has been a policy adviser for Devolved, National and European Governments on Biotechnology, Climate Change and Sustainability.

In particular, for seven years, John chaired the UK’s Rural Climate Change Forum, reporting directly to the Secretary of State of DEFRA, London, and supporting the UK at COP15 in Copenhagen. While Director of SRUC in Edinburgh, he helped set up their very successful Carbon Management Centre.

For seven years as Director of Agriculture and Sustainability of the Irish livestock nutrition company, Devenish, John led the development of the their research farm, the Lands at Dowth, transforming it into both a Lighthouse Farm for WUR’s (Wageningen University & Research) Global Network of Lighthouse Farms, and a Living Lab, in a project called Heartland, with five PhD students, in partnership with WUR and UCD, and funded by the EU’s Marie Curie Programme,

Also speaking are:

Llyr Gruffydd MS, Plaid Cymru

Paul Williams, beef farmer

Gary Yeomans, mixed farmer

Mared Williams, Rhug Estate

Trevor Lloyd, dairy farmer






Introduction – John Mercer, Director – NFU Cymru



Welcome to Bodwi - Edward Griffith



President’s Address - Aled Jones, NFU Cymru President

Shaping Welsh Farming’s Future


Keynote speaker – Professor John Gilliland OBE

Beyond Net Zero

Q&A chaired by NFU Cymru President


Political Address

Llyr Gruffydd MS, Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs

Q&A chaired by NFU Cymru President


Farmer Panel - Sustainable Farming in Practice

  • Trevor Lloyd, dairy farmer, Anglesey (confirmed)
  • Paul Williams, Cae Haidd, beef & sheep farmer, Clwyd (confirmed)
  • Gary Yeomans, mixed farmer, Monmouthshire (confirmed)
  • Mared Williams, Low Carbon Project Officer, Rhug Estate (confirmed)

Q&A chaired by Abi Reader, NFU Cymru Deputy President



Sustainability – A Supply Chain Perspective – Wynnstay Group Plc

Andrew Evans, Group Sustainability, Innovation & Food Supply Chain Director



Summing up and thanks

Hedd Pugh, Chair NFU Cymru Rural Affairs Board






Short Farm Tour – led by Edward Griffith






Pre-booking is essential. The conference is free for NFU Cymru members and stakeholders to attend. Lunch will be provided. NFU Cymru members can register here (you will be asked to log in)

Alternatively, you can call the office on 01982 554200.

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from NFU Cymru will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate NFU policy team.

You have 0 characters remaining.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.