Plight of Welsh Livestock Industry Halts Winter Fair

WALES - One of the biggest agricultural events in Europe came to a halt on Monday when a warning was given to the British and Welsh Assembly Governments that livestock farming faces meltdown and is in desperate need of financial aid.
calendar icon 27 November 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

"Mr Roberts has graphically illustrate the manner in which the supermarkets are killing the goose that lays the golden egg"

FUW President, Gareth Vaughan.

Chairman of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Management Board, Dai Lewis, suspended operations in the main cattle ring at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair to read a joint statement by Wales’ four leading countryside organisations.

The statement, prepared by the Farmers’ Union of Wales, NFU Cymru, Wales YFC and CLA Wales, called on central Government to recognise the dire situation facing Welsh farmers as a direct result of Foot and Mouth disease.

"We urge Government to recognise its moral and legal obligations to provide proportionate funding to the Welsh industry to alleviate the extreme economic pressures which are continuing to grow by the day.

"Whilst all organisations contend that a recovery package should be financed by the Treasury, if the Welsh Assembly Government cannot persuade central Government to meet its obligations, then they must find resources from contingency reserves to mitigate the impending economic disaster for the Welsh livestock industry."

Earlier, FUW President, Gareth Vaughan, praised a hard-hitting speech by Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales’ Chairman, Rees Roberts, on the reality of the adverse influence of the supermarkets on the farming industry.

Mr Roberts said it was obscene that, week after week, supermarkets are content to pick the pockets of the farming industry to put their profits on the plates of shareholders.

"For us in Wales, this isn’t market forces in action - it is commercial crash and burn," said Mr Roberts.

Mr Vaughan described Mr Roberts’ comments as a stern warning to the supermarkets that their behaviour is having a critical effect on the viability of the food chain.

"Mr Roberts has graphically illustrate the manner in which the supermarkets are killing the goose that lays the golden egg", said Mr Vaughan.

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