Royal Welsh Show highlights

Unable to attend this year’s Royal Welsh Show? You missed a cracker. Here’s a roundup of highlights as reported in the Autumn edition of the Farmers Club Journal

See more photos here https://www.flickr.com/photos/farmersclublondon/albums/72157686804969094

(Photos: www.agriphoto.com)

 

The Royal Welsh Show is Europe’s largest farming event, drawing a hugely enthusiastic audience and showcasing all that’s best about Welsh agriculture. Here are some of the highlights:

 

  • BEST OF WALES

Huge crowds, competitive livestock entries and a tremendous community spirit reflected an industry that employs over 53,000 on-farm, and underpins a near £7bn food and drink sector with 223,100 jobs and tourism worth £2.5bn. In research 75% of UK consumers say Welsh food ‘tastes fantastic’ and 59% reckon it ‘feels natural’.

 

  • GREAT RECEPTION

Farmers Club members and guests gathered in the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Pavilion for drinks, canapes and a vision of the show’s future from RWAS Assistant Chief Executive Aled Jones. This year’s Feature County, Carmarthenshire, was fundraising well over £250,000 for improved showground stabling, noted RWAS Chairman Brian Jones.

 

  • GOVE’S VIEW

 “The world knows Welsh produce is of the highest quality, so as we leave the EU we can be sure there are fresh markets to exploit, so producers can sell more, and produce more,” insisted Defra secretary Michael Gove, who said he was embracing Welsh government views “more than ever” and would “respect the devolved deal”.

 

  • PROTECTED STATUS

Maintaining EU protected status for Welsh foods is a priority for Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales, with pre-Brexit Defra meetings underway. Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef gained protection in 2002/3. Now 14 Welsh food products are protected against imitation, which boosts consumer confidence and aids marketing. Precedent exists for PFN status for non-EU produce, such as Café de Colombia. Or the UK could create reciprocal EU recognition.

 

  • GLORIOUS FOOD

More than Welsh cakes and cawl! Food and Drink Wales is embarking on a major food promotion, as part of the #ThisisWales campaign. Branded “Wales. Food odyssey” it aims to champion the people, provenance, taste and design of Welsh food and drink. Potential buyers were treated to a slick presentation of hundreds of Welsh food products in a professionally managed trade lounge above the Royal Welsh Show Food Hall. Research suggests that initiative alone boosted sales by £2m over the past two years.

 

  • SHEARING CONTEST

Competitive sheep-shearing is alive and well, with crowds of 500+ and competitors training as for a sport, says Sennybridge hill farmer Brian Davies, of the Welsh Shearing Equipment Centre, 1975 world champion and world record holder with 609 sheep sheared in 9 hours.

 

  • WELSH BARD

Ceredigion poet and dramatic reader Karen Brewer’s “Seeds from a Danedelion” reflects farm life, especially through “Super view from top field” and “Farmer’s Den”. Available from on-line booksellers.

 

  • BVD IN FOCUS

The whole-of-Wales BVD eradication strategy proposed by Gelli Aur College got the go-ahead for a September 1st start.

 

  • RURAL SUPPORT

A 16-mile Tywi Valley path/cycle-way aims to attract 15,000 visitors a year to boost the rural economy as part of an overall £1.3bn investment in the Swansea Bay City Region.

 

  • TOURISM TARGET

Black Mountain bespoke shepherd’s huts are proving hugely popular, offering 5-star Gold standard boutique accommodation for the burgeoning staycation market.

 

More about the Royal Welsh Show at: www.rwas.wales/royal-welsh-show