LORD ELIS Thomas, the Welsh Assembly‘s presiding officer, and rural affairs minister Carwyn Jones have officially opened the NFU Cymru’s new £500,000 headquarters.

The building, which is an extension of the union‘s existing office on the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells, replaces offices at Swansea and Ruthin.

Peredur Hughes, the union‘s Welsh president, said the investment demonstrated continuing commitment to serving members‘ needs, as cost effectively as possible, during a period of considerable change for farming.

Mr Jones said his department was determined to work with the industry and those who represented it.

That work included being ready to send out single farm payments as soon at the window opened in December.

Dai Davies, deputy president of NFU Cymru, told him that agriculture merited political support as it was the “beating heart” of the Welsh rural economy.

He also launched an attack on the ban on the burial of fallen stock

It was indefensible that fossil fuel was being burned in lorries travelling very long distances to collect carcasses for burning using yet more fossil fuel, he said.