PRINCE CHARLES has urged farmers to cooperate with each other during the official opening of the 100th Royal Welsh Show.

The Prince of Wales said if farmers would just cooperate more, then they could reduce their costs and work to get a farmgate price that was reasonable.

“It would make such a difference if we could see more cooperation among farmers,” he said at the event on Monday (Jul 19).

The prince, who is president of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society during its centenary year, said 2005 would be a time of massive change because of CAP reform.

But he said he happened to think that Wales could be particularly well placed to benefit from the Mid Term Review.

“From now on it is quality, not quantity that is important,” he said, before adding that Wales had some of the most productive grassland, some of the finest breeds of livestock and some of the best farmers.

But while there was some optimism for the future, there were some new skills that needed to be learnt – such as marketing.

“Marketing is going to be critical in the new world. It won‘t be enough just to produce a quality product, knowing how to sell it will be just as important and that requires skills that perhaps not everyone has.” 

“Wales is the ‘Land of my fathers‘, but it has to become the ‘Brand of our fathers‘.”

The prince received a warm round of applause from the crowds when he said he would like to see more effort being put into telling consumers what they are buying.

“Bring back good, old-fashioned home economics so children are taught to cook and learn about food, rather than this politically-correct pretence about ‘food technology‘.”