Llyr Gruffydd AM, Plaid Cymru Spokesman for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, recently visited a number of rural businesses in Corwen with NFU Cymru.
Llyr Gruffydd had the opportunity to hear farmers’ views during a visit to Geraint Jones’ beef and sheep enterprise at Nant Erw Haidd, Gwyddelwern. He also heard the views of suppliers by visiting Richard Jones, General Manager of Corwen Farmers Ltd and a local business that buys produce from farmers.
Geraint Jones’ big concern was to secure a future market for sheep and the real need for European markets to remain open for lamb. A large proportion of the farm’s lambs were sold to buyers at Ruthin market who then slaughtered and exported them. With most of the farm’s stock being sheep, protecting this market was very important to the business.
Ensuring a regular and plentiful supply of farm products was top priority for Richard Jones at Corwen Farmers Ltd. He regularly saw prices increasing for products such as hay and feed, due to the dry weather last summer. As well as this, there was nervousness about the ability of companies to ensure a plentiful supply of raw materials as the uncertainties of Brexit continue.
Those in attendance were all in agreement that it was clear to see, from the Welsh Government consultation paper, Brexit and Our Land, the importance of a profitable, productive and progressive farming industry in Wales in underpinning other rural businesses within the rural economy.
Meirionnydd NFU Cymru Vice Chairman, Rhodri Jones said: “While sitting down and discussing various issues, it soon becomes apparent how dependent we all are on each other. We visited three businesses no more than two miles from each other and between them they provided a living for 30 individuals.”
Llyr Gruffydd AM said: “It was very interesting speaking with the various businesses that are the backbone to the rural economy of Wales. As well as the daily challenges that face farmers and small rural businesses, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit means it’s impossible to plan for the future. It is essential for all businesses in Wales – whether that’s Airbus or sheep farmers – to have certainty looking into the future. It’s shameful that the UK Government has failed to secure a clear and organised way to leave the European Union after two years of discussions.
“I am thankful to NFU Cymru for organising these visits and also to the various enterprises for their welcome and the information I received from talking to them.”