At The Royal Welsh Show, NFU Cymru president Dai Davies applauded Wales rural affairs minister Elin Jones’s courageous decision to believe the scientific evidence and adopt a holistic approach to eradication of bovine TB in both cattle and wildlife in Wales.

He said: “I compare this to the Secretary of State, Hilary Benn’s, complete abrogation of responsibility and dereliction of duty in England, where he seems to think that a strategy of ignoring the problem will stop the spiralling incidence of disease.

“Experience has shown that it definitely will not.  No-one and nothing is served by such short sightedness.”

In contrast he criticized the assembly’s lack of action over the potential for exploiting the potential for supplying Welsh food to the new St Athen defence training academy in Glamorgan, which would be the largest restaurant in Europe.

For the good of Wales

At the 2007 show he challenged the Assembly to grasp this opportunity for the good of Wales by helping the Welsh food industry to build the capacity to take advantage of what was a golden opportunity.

“What has happened since – absolutely nothing!  My plea, once again, to the Assembly this year is to do some work before it’s too late. 

“Looking at the issues currently facing farmers, all the talk at the moment is of the global demand for food outstripping supply.  How the wheel turns!  There is no question that, as farmers, we can increase production and in so doing continue to respect the environment but it has to be profitable to do so.

“We have witnessed an explosion of input prices and in the costs which central Government appears determined to dump on us.  This, in combination with cuts in producer prices, is sapping the confidence of livestock farmers in Wales who have few alternatives.  We need a combination of more sustainable returns from the supply chain together with a reversal of the upward spiral of costs.”