17 November 2000
Fight, don’t whinge, Welsh told

By Robert Davies

YOUNG Welsh farmers have been urged to steer clear of the industrys whingeing culture, and to get out and fight for a better deal.

Meirion Thomas, chairman of Future Farmers of Wales, said many farmers would rather moan and groan and leave it to others to fight for the industry.

Instead, they should get up and do something about their problems themselves, he told the organisations annual conference at Builth Wells, Powys.

Many farmers ignore real opportunities, he said. “We must overcome our differences and learn to work together for the good of Welsh agriculture.”

Farmers should educate themselves about the market-place, adding value and branding, and be anticipate changing demand, rather than reacting with gloom.

Producers should not fear the attentions of an often critical public.

They should not stand aloof, but see the interest as an opportunity to teach outsiders about their way of life, hopes and aspirations.

“When it comes to food production honesty must be the best policy,” said Mr Thomas. “We have nothing to fear, as we have nothing to hide.”

Many non-farming people, he told the conference, were just like farmers, trying to do a difficult job under difficult circumstances.

“All we are trying to do is produce a quality product as efficiently and safely as possible and I am sick and tired of being told to be ashamed of my industry.”