Welsh ambition for growth to take centre stage 2018 NFU Cymru conference

One of Wales’ farming unions has said it has ambitions for the country’s agriculture to become a bigger player internationally.

Speaking ahead of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Cymru Conference on Thursday, 1 November, John Mercer, NFU Cymru director said: “Wales may be a small nation but it has big ambition and that ambition is especially strong in the agricultural industry.

Our industry has the ambition to grow and be a world leader in high-quality, green, food production and I know Welsh farmers are up for that challenge.

The event will be held once again at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.

The conference, entitled ‘Welsh Farming: Ambition for Growth’, will bring together a line-up of industry-leading speakers who will look at Wales beyond Brexit and outline their thoughts on the future direction of the industry.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Welsh Government;
  • Sir. Emyr Jones Parry, former diplomat;
  • Shanker Singham, director of International Trade and Competition Unit (ITCU), Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and chief executive, Competere;
  • Kasper Thormod Nielsen, head of Communication & Public Affairs Germany and European Public Affairs, Arla Foods;
  • Barney Kay, head of agriculture, Tesco;
  • John Davies, president, NFU Cymru;
  • Minette Batters, president, NFU;
  • Ivor Ferguson, president, Ulster Farmers’ Union;
  • Andrew McCornick, president, NFU Scotland;
  • Mark Berrisford-Smith, head of economics, HSBC Bank.

Mercer added: “I am delighted to welcome another fantastic line-up of speakers to our conference again this year. Last year was our best conference to-date with record attendance and we’re sure this year’s programme will draw in another huge crowd.

“While Brexit presents us with many challenges and unknowns, it will also give us the opportunity to trade with new markets and grow our export market.

NFU Cymru firmly believes that we can make a success of Brexit if Government secures a good deal with the remaining EU member states and also puts in place policies that will enable us to grow our world-class Welsh agricultural industry.

“Our collective focus should be on meeting the demands of a growing world population with safe, quality, affordable food whilst maintaining and enhancing our environment, something that is already taking place on a huge number of farms across Wales.

“NFU Cymru Conference has NFU Cymru members at its core and I would encourage any members who are interested in attending to contact the NFU Cymru office to register a place.”