The West Wales FUW Academy, including the Ceredigion, Carmarthen, Brecon and Pembrokeshire branches, recently discussed a host of #FarmingMatters , including the threat Brexit poses to farming families, when they met with Mid and West Wales Regional AM Eluned Morgan.
The meeting was held on Thursday, February 7, at Cwmcowddu Farm, Llangadog, a mixed 350 acre family farm, which is home of the Davies’ family, who have diversified into egg production to future-proof their business.
Delegates enjoyed a tour of the farm, seeing the egg production unit which was set up in 2017 and is now home to 32,000 hens, as well as the dairy, beef and sheep production aspect of the farm.
Speaking at the event, Chris Davies said: “Most people have specialised in one commodity over the last decade but we have rightly or wrongly stayed a mixed unit. We have a daughter Ffion and two sons, Aled and Rhodri, who are the fourth generation on the farm. The boys are both keen to remain in the industry, but with the price of land continuing to rise it is becoming more and more difficult to make a reasonable return from the investment.”
“As a family we therefore decided to diversify into the free range egg sector. The egg industry is very similar to dairy, in the sense that you are still tied to the farm seven days a week, 365 days of the year, with volatile prices, but without the lack of sleep during calving.
“How the business does from now on will to a degree depend on what trade deals we can get, but also what farming policy looks here at home. We’re grateful to have been able to discuss some of those worries with Eluned Morgan here on farm and hope that the Welsh Government will do what is within their power and provide the stability that is desperately needed,” said Sian Davies.
Brexit and its implication for family farms, such as Cwmcowddu, were further discussed and FUW Carmarthen CEO David Waters said: “Contingency planning for a hard Brexit must be stepped up. The Welsh Government has to work alongside other UK Governments to ensure action can be taken at short notice to protect our farmers and food producers from the sort of catastrophe we have only previously witnessed during Foot and Mouth disease outbreaks.