2 January 2001
Breakthrough in Welsh lamb war
By FWi staff
WELSH farmers have struck a deal with defence chiefs in a partial solution to their bitter wrangle over the amount of British lamb bought by the military.
National Farmers Union of Wales Cymru has agreed to allow the Ministry of Defence to use members farms for 20% of training exercises.
This follows a pledge by the MoD to source 20% of its lamb in Wales.
Welsh farmers withdrew permission for their land to be used for training exercises in protest at the MoDs refusal to buy Welsh lamb.
The union reviewed the situation after the MoD decided in the autumn to buy 200 tonnes of Welsh lamb a year – 20% of its requirements.
NFU policy adviser Kevin Owen said that farmers now expect the MoD to increase the size of their order.
“For years farmers allowed their land to be used by troops for training, although they were being fed imported meat,” he said.
“We welcome the fact that they are starting to buy Welsh lamb – but why just 20%? They still expect to use our land for 100% of their exercises.
“If they only want 20% from us, then they will get 20% – of both lamb and land.”
The union will meet the MoD later this month to progress the matter.