Dissatisfied NFU members in Wales are being urged to join the Farmers Union of Wales rather than the Better NFU splinter group.

Gareth Vaughan, FUW president, said that those who are unhappy with the way their leaders deal with the “crippling power” of the supermarkets simply have to join the Aberystwyth based union.

“The FUW is well known for pursuing radical policies, and we are not afraid to condemn the practices of the major supermarket chains in driving down the prices paid to farmers,” insisted Mr Vaughan.

In 1998 the FUW had led the way in calling for legislation to control the abuse of power wielded by the retail giants, and had fought for new law ever since.

“We have described the voluntary code of conduct as a toothless watchdog. This is a view shared by many other suppliers, as well as the operators of small independent shops who are being squeezed out of town centres as the large chains buy up High Street convenience stores.”

He went on to criticise the NFU “silence” over the issue of changing Government policy to ensure that schools, hospitals and the armed forces bought locally produced food.

In contrast his union had been working hard to convince the MoD and local authorities to use high quality local produce.

For five decades the FUW had been committed to the radical agenda now being suggested by Better NFU, he claimed.

“It is ironic that 50 years to the month after the FUW was established because of a deep resentment with the way the NFU dealt with affairs in Wales, farmers are still expressing concern at the way the NFU operates.

“My message to all disillusioned NFU members in Wales is that there’s a warm welcome for you all in the FUW.”