Welsh farms ‘lead food security battle’

Welsh family farms will play a pivotal role in maintaining food security as the world meets the challenges of global warming, rising sea levels and peak oil production, according to the Farmers Union of Wales.

Launching its manifesto ahead of the Welsh Assembly Government elections in May, the FUW urged the incoming administration to recognise the key role of family farms.

Union president Gareth Vaughan said future policies should reflect imminent global challenges.

“The FUW believes ensuring a vibrant and prosperous farming industry is pivotal to addressing these issues, and that at the centre of the picture lies a key entity which is often overlooked and undervalued, namely the family farm,” said Mr Vaughan.

“Compared with other regions, I believe Wales has genuinely benefited from successive administrations which recognise the importance of agriculture to our economy, landscape and culture.”

However, if Wales is to rise to these challenges, politicians must resist the temptation to introduce short-sighted policies which undermine the family farm, he warned.

Advances in the devolution process mean those elected to the assembly have significant control over Welsh agriculture and have a duty to lobby higher levels of government to secure the best deal for Wales, Mr Vaughan added.

“The FUW’s concerns and aspirations regarding the most significant of these issues are highlighted in this manifesto. The FUW is not affiliated to any political party and, therefore, has a duty to work with the government of the day and the opposition parties, irrespective of their political persuasions,” he said.

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