30 November 2001
New chief rallies Welsh NFU

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

THE new president of the National Farmers Union Cymru-Wales says farmers face a tough but winnable, battle to stay in business.

Peredur Hughes was elected to the post on Friday (30 November) as the only candidate, following the retirement of Hugh Richards.

Mr Hughes, who runs 65 suckler cows 950 breeding ewes at Fferm Uchaf near Valley in Anglesey, will officially take over the post in February.

Farmers must use their assets better, co-operate with other producers and processors to add value to their products, he said.

“Farmers have been through a terrible time and still have a mountain to climb,” he added.

Mr Hughes said he was “very reluctant” to accept that many will go out of business, but said farmers must consider better ways of utilising land.

“We cannot compete on price with countries like New Zealand and South America, but we certainly can on food quality, safety, and animal welfare.”

He added: “We have to get British farms back into profit. Unless we co-operate we will be picked off one by one.”

Farming families need to exploit agri-environment payments, tourism and even income from wind turbines, Mr Hughes said.