Idris Davies Memorial Trust Award winner for 2020 announced

Well-known Pembrokeshire dairy farmer and founder of the Daioni Organic milk business, Laurence Harris, of Ffosyficer Farm, Abercych, has been announced as the winner of the Idris Davies Memorial Trust Award for 2020 at the recent Pembrokeshire NFU Cymru County Conference.

Harris began his farming career in 1970 when he took over the running of the family farm after graduating from the Royal Agricultural College and has grown the farming business from 150ac to over 3,500ac today.

The business operates three dairy herds totalling over 1,000 milking cows as well as a sheep flock of 1,200 breeding ewes, a small pedigree Hereford suckler herd and a large arable farming enterprise.

Over 20 years ago he and his son Tom, who had returned home to farm, made the decision to convert to organic farming.

The business is now an example of a successful organic farming enterprise and one of the largest organic farming businesses in Wales.

Harris is also the driving force behind the successful Daioni Organic milk brand, which was established in 2002, initially distributing fresh organic milk in South West Wales, Mid Wales and parts of North Wales before developing the Daioni organic flavoured milk range.

This was initially supplied to local schools before quickly becoming available through the Welsh regional supermarkets and convenience stores.

Since 2013 Daioni Organic milk products have also been exported into global markets. Its organic long-life milk was the first British dairy product to be certified for sale in China.

Daioni milk products can now be found extensively throughout the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific region with a sales and marketing office now in Hong Kong.

‘A proud ambassador for Welsh agriculture’

Harris is a proud ambassador for Welsh agriculture and is a great example of Welsh rural entrepreneurship at its best.

He is a substantial employer in North Pembrokeshire, and agricultural students are regularly given work placement opportunities at Ffosyficer where the Harris’s family help them to develop their skills and careers.

He is an active member and past chairman of the Grasshoppers discussion group, and his exceptional contribution to the Welsh dairy industry was recognised at the 2017 Royal Welsh Show when he received the prestigious Sir Bryner Jones Award.

Jeff Evans, chairman of the Idris Davies Memorial Trust Award management committee, said:

Laurence has made an outstanding contribution to the agricultural community in Pembrokeshire and he is an extremely worthy recipient of the Idris Davies Memorial Trust Award.

“He joins some illustrious company in becoming this year’s winner of the award.”