Beef and lamb produced in Wales utilizing low depth farming, pure grass, and rainwater should be positioned on the coronary heart of the Welsh authorities’s post-Brexit agricultural coverage, insist farm leaders.
Newest figures from the Welsh authorities present that the output of the Welsh beef and sheep sector was round £750m final 12 months, with exports value round £200m.
This can be a important improve on the overall determine of £690m recorded in 2019.
NFU Cymru hosted a web based seminar future prospects for the pink meat sector on Tuesday (20 July) as a part of the digital Royal Welsh Present.
See additionally: Beef outlook suggests costs might stay agency
Talking forward of the occasion, NFU Cymru livestock board chairman Wyn Evans advised Farmers Weekly that home meals manufacturing needed to be one of the vital essential parts of Welsh authorities future farming coverage.
“We’ve to take care of the atmosphere. We wish to be carbon impartial by 2040 – it’s one thing we take very, very severely going ahead,” stated Mr Evans, a beef and sheep farmer from Ceredigion.
“However productiveness needs to be a component, and meals safety must be pressured. We can’t be offshoring our meals manufacturing.
“It’s vitally essential that we produce nearly all of the meals we eat. We all know that it’s sustainable, and it ticks all of the environmental containers shifting ahead.”
Welsh farming in numbers
- £750m estimated output of the Welsh beef and sheep sector
- 90% of land space in Wales given over to farming
- 90% of beef trade grass-fed
- 9m sheep and lambs in Wales
- £22,600 common annual earnings of cattle and sheep (less-favoured space) lowland farms
- £16,600 common annual earnings of cattle and sheep (lowland) farms
Supply: Welsh authorities
Because the Covid pandemic, gross sales of Welsh beef and lamb have carried out nicely, thanks largely to extra individuals staying at dwelling and getting ready meals from scratch.
Whereas enter prices, particularly fertiliser, have elevated considerably over the previous 12 months, farmgate costs for pink meat have been robust.
Welsh pink meat levy physique Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) revealed a report this week which revealed that robust international demand for protein and tight provide of cattle coming onto the market had seen retailer cattle costs in England and Wales hit a milestone of £four per kilo in April – the very best on file for a while.
Mr Evans stated the outlook not less than within the quick time period seems constructive for Welsh livestock farmers.
However he warned that the livelihoods of Welsh farmers – particularly small household farms – had been below risk if the Welsh authorities fails to strike the fitting stability in its future agricultural coverage.
NFU Cymru director John Mercer fears a UK-Australia free commerce settlement is not going to be good for Welsh farmers – particularly if it results in a flood of low-cost meals imports on this nation.
“We’ve received a few of the finest farmers on the earth, some implausible land, and we’re superb at rising grass and crops. That needs to be celebrated and constructed upon,” he pressured.
“With out farming, there’s no individuals; and with out individuals, there’s no nation. The faculties, chapels and rugby golf equipment are all constructed round vibrant rural communities.
“The vets, banks, seed retailers, it’s all intrinsically linked to farming.”
A Welsh authorities spokesman stated: “Meals is likely one of the foundational sectors of our economic system and our local weather is nicely suited to producing sustainable and high-quality pink meat.
“Our proposed sustainable farming scheme will assist farmers produce meals in a method which has a low carbon footprint.
“This can enable us to change into probably the greatest international locations on the earth for sustainable farming, assembly our international obligations with out off-shoring meals manufacturing to international locations with decrease requirements.”
Wales can lead world in sustainable beef and lamb manufacturing – HCC
Wales can change into a world chief in producing beef and lamb whereas addressing the challenges of local weather change and international meals safety, based on Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) (Meat Promotion Wales).
HCC says Wales has the best pure atmosphere and husbandry abilities to provide grass-fed meat manufacturing from marginal land – ample, wealthy grass, plentiful rainwater – whereas additionally sequestering carbon within the soils and hedgerows.
“Our watchword in Wales needs to be high quality,” stated HCC chair Catherine Smith. “We are able to’t have a race to the underside; we should present what the buyer needs – high quality meals produced to world-leading requirements of sustainability and welfare.”
Purple meat is likely one of the finest sources of a lot of essential nutritional vitamins and minerals, together with zinc and iron.
Current HCC evaluation has additionally proven that lambs reared on grass-based diets contained larger ranges of important amino acids in comparison with lambs reared on a focus weight loss program.
Important amino acids are on the core of many important processes inside the physique, together with muscle growth and restore, and immune perform.