Whilst most farmers see their role as raising and preparing high quality stock for the live market or directly to the slaughterhouse, Sion Ifans, Chairman of Merionethshire FUW, sees a wider supply chain responsibility, from 'gate to plate', and has demonstrated the importance of communicating with his customers.
The background stems from a conversation he had with the owner of the local Camlan Garden Centre and Shop in Dinas Mawddwy, near Machynlleth. When Sion asked why local lamb couldn't be sold in the shop, the owner replied that it was hard to find. Typical of Sion, and with his enthusiasm and interest, he decided to do something about the situation and respond positively.
He arranged for his own lambs from Brynuchaf Farm to be transported to Randall Parker abattoir in Llanidloes, and then cut by butcher Marcus Williams, again locally in Llanidloes. The terms and conditions were decided, and the venture started in April 2019. It quickly developed into supplying 2 lambs a week to the shop, and now supplies 3 lambs a week on a fairly regular basis.
The ‘Cig Oen Mawddwy’ brand was developed and is now popular not only with local residents, but also by the thousands who pass daily on the nearby A470 trunk road. The work gives Sion a great deal of pleasure.