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Farming

Farmer awarded for his long service to agriculture

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CHRIS LEWIS from Letterston was praised at the Pembrokeshire County Show last week for his long service to the agricultural industry.

Chris, who started work at Llangwarren Farm in Letterston, and then Chapel Farm in Wolfscastle for 33 years, was one of three people who was awarded for their long service to the industry.

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Farming

Quarantine Units major concern for local shows

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Strong livestock classes: At Bedwellty Show

THE THREAT posed to small agricultural shows through the introduction of Quarantine Units was hotly debated at Bedwellty and Llangynidr show, with farmers voicing their concern about the new regulations which will come into force on September 11.

“I would first of all like to thank the Glamorgan and Brecon and Radnor branches of the FUW for their assistance at our local shows and also congratulate the organisers for putting on such fantastic events. It really reminded me of how important our local shows are and the key role they play in bringing communities together,” said FUW Gwent County Executive Officer Glyn Davies.

“The main topic of discussions in our marquee however was not Brexit as many might expect, but the imminent introduction of Quarantine Units.  The delay in their introduction has done nothing to ease the burden, and the threat that will be posed to small shows like Bedwellty and Llangynidr. Our members really are concerned about the effect this will have.”

“Quarantine Units pose a very real threat to the livestock classes at the smaller agricultural shows. The Welsh Government have constantly stressed the vital role that agriculture plays in the rural economy and community, yet are hell bent on introducing QU’s which will make it uneconomical for some farmers to participate at shows, particularly during the busy autumn sales period. The cost of obtaining approval and maintaining, quarantine units will prove prohibitive to many exhibitors,” added Mr Davies.

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Farming

Welsh Lamb stars in BBC food finale

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Nadiya Hussain visits Richard Roderick’s Newton Farm in the Brecon Beacons: To see how PGI Welsh Lamb is reared

BBC TWO viewers saw PGI Welsh Lamb take to primetime television on September 4, during Love Lamb Week.

Former Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain has been discovering local delicacies from around the UK in her new series ‘Nadiya’s Great British Food Adventure’ and Monday’s episode saw PGI Welsh Lamb take centre stage in the final episode of the series.

The episode aired during Love Lamb Week, a national campaign which encourages consumers to pick and fall in love with lamb during its peak season. Originating as a grass roots campaign, Love Lamb Week sees farmers, agricultural bodies, chefs and consumers join together to celebrate and champion lamb.

During the episode, Nadiya travelled to the Brecon Beacons to meet local sheep farmer Richard Roderick. Part of Nadiya’s journey is to understand the story and the provenance behind different food and produce up and down the country, learning what makes these special foods not only delicious, but a part of Great British culture.

Nadiya also tried her hand at sheep dog training with Richard and took in the outstanding natural surroundings in which Welsh Lamb is reared, before moving on to the kitchen where Nadiya cooked up a delicious and different lamb recipe. Nadiya’s ‘Fast Lamb Bhuna’ served with garlic naan is a simple and contemporary dish, proving Welsh Lamb to be worthy of more than just a Sunday roast.

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) scholar and former Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year Richard Roderick commented said: “It was a delight to have Nadiya come to the farm and show her what goes into putting Welsh Lamb on supermarket and butcher shop shelves. Nadiya was really eager to learn more about the whole process and even had a go at rounding up the flock.
“It was great for Nadiya and the viewers to see the story and provenance of Welsh Lamb and how our traditional farming methods and Wales’ naturally exceptional landscapes provide an excellent product for exceedingly good dishes.”

HCC Marketing Manager Rhys Llywelyn said: “Love Lamb Week is always a great opportunity for us to promote lamb being in peak season and PGI Welsh Lamb as an iconic national product. Nadiya’s Great British Food Adventure succeeds in showing the public the story behind Welsh Lamb; the people and the hard work behind the produce.’ Rhys continued ‘Nadiya also broke the misconception that Welsh Lamb is more suited to slow-cook stews and Sunday roasts. Nadiya’s quick and innovative dish proves the ease and versatility of cooking with Welsh Lamb.”

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Scottish and Welsh ministers discuss Brexit

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MINISTERS from devolved nations have aired concerns that Brexit represents a threat to the powers of the devolved administrations on environmental policy.

Roseanna Cunningham and her Welsh counterpart Lesley Griffiths met on Thursday, August 17.

Ms Cunningham, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, said: “My message has been clear and consistent – the Scottish Government will steadfastly adhere to its environmental commitments, despite the growing threat of a hard Brexit.  That is why we are joining our Welsh counterparts to urge the UK Government to ditch this ill-conceived power grab.

“Imposing a UK-wide framework for the environment risks undermining the significant progress Scotland has made, which has seen us win international recognition for our work on climate change and the circular economy.

“We are not opposed in principle to UK-wide frameworks in certain areas but this must be through agreement – not imposition.

“Protecting devolution will allow us to drive forward our ambitious work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance environmental standards and create a cleaner, greener Scotland for everyone.”

On Thursday, Welsh Rural Affairs Secretary Ms Griffiths said she shared Ms Cunningham’s concerns. Ahead of the meeting in Cardiff she said, “Devolution has enabled the Welsh Government to deliver ground-breaking legislation for the people of Wales, which delivers on international obligations and has been recognised as cutting-edge by a number of international institutions. The approach presented by the UK Government in the Withdrawal Bill could significantly undermine this progress.

“Our approach has not been about trading off agriculture and the environment, it’s about both. You can’t have one without the other. The Bill as it stands has the potential to seriously impact on this approach by locking us into an outdated framework while also removing our ability to bring forward reforms.”

Speaking after meeting with his SNP counterpart, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Simon Thomas, Mid and West AM added: “We’ve had 20 years decision making on agriculture from Wales and the people of Wales resoundingly endorsed that in the 2011 referendum on the powers of the Assembly. We cannot now allow unrepresentative Tories like Michael Gove shape the future of Welsh farming.

“Plaid Cymru will not allow the European Union Withdrawal Bill to tighten London’s grip on Wales.”

However, Welsh Conservatives have suggested that devolved administrations ought to trust the Westminster Government to do the best for them.

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Europe, Mark Isherwood said: “The UK Government’s Brexit strategy is guided by a simple principle, to secure the deal that delivers the greatest economic advantage to the UK.

“This is a conversation that will be ongoing throughout the summer, and I would hope that a positive and constructive response from the Welsh Government will be forthcoming, alongside movement from the UK Government on common agreed UK-wide frameworks that respect the devolution settlement and provide a foundation for a future free trade agreement with the EU.”

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