NFU demands changes to food tendering rules

NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond has called for a change in the rules governing food procurement by government institutions and agencies.

Opening the Winter Fair, Mr Raymond said that the Welsh Assembly could do more to help the beleaguered industry by moving away from competitive tendering to a system that demanded high-quality and farm assurance standards.

This would be beneficial not only to the farming industry but to society at large. He said he was was frustrated at being told that this would raise state aid issues, and he questioned whether the French government would be so constrained.

“There is no doubt that, as world population grows from 6bn to 9bn by 2050 and the dietary demands of the Pacific Rim change, our products will be in great demand. It is important to maintain our infrastructure so that the industry will be in a position to supply that demand. Politicians and policymakers will never be forgiven if they allow agriculture to become less important in the Welsh economy.”

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