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Thank A Farmer This Christmas
- AuthorMalcolm Thomas MBE A.R.Ag.S.
As we approach Christmas, it is a good time to reflect on the role that farming plays in the festive season. I am sure that we are all looking forward to the turkey, potatoes, parsnips, peas, carrots and all the trimmings. But think on all of these products will have been produced by the farmers and growers of this country, very often being picked and processed right up until Christmas Eve to ensure that we get as flavoursome and fresh a product as possible. Also remember that this harvesting takes place irrespective of the weather be it rain, snow or ice to ensure that the nation gets fed.
Harvesting the crop is just the first stage as so much of the produce then finds its way on to the supermarket shelves where the prices paid to our primary producers are dictated by the supermarkets. This can often lead to situations where the price paid is only just covering the cost of production, with very little left for the farmer to invest back into the long term future of his business.
We must never forget that Wales is primarily a country of family farms, and it is absolutely crucial that everybody works towards ensuring them a viable future, particularly so when one considers the increasing world demand for food. Indeed the future of family farms is now so critical that the European Union recently held a major Conference to consider ways of safeguarding these farms which are so important to Wales in terms of not only food production, but also the very character and heart of our rural communities. One thing is definite, namely that once these family farms disappear from our rural areas, they can never be recovered, and the knock on effects on rural schools, shops, and even our language will be disastrous.
So as you tuck into your Christmas dinner, just remember to thank a farmer!
On a brighter note.....Merry Christmas from the Rural Practice team at JCP
Malcolm Thomas MBE of Llangynog, Carmarthen, is the Rural Client Manager at JCP Solicitors. Malcolm’s role, which is predominantly management and development of our rural client base, includes liaison with the NFU and its legal assistance scheme, for which JCP is the panel firm for South Wales. Having worked in the sector for many years, Malcolm has first-hand knowledge of the challenges it can face. Malcolm is also the RABI (Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution) Trustee for Wales and was recently awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to the agricultural industry in Wales.