#FarmingMatters – column by Rachel Saunders of the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) Years of ‘food security’ have led …

Monday, 12 February 2018

By Contributed Item
in Local People

Every day, millions of us flock to our local supermarkets for the weekly or top-up food shop, or drop into our local corner or village shop for that bottle of milk or loaf of bread we forgot to buy – and many of us will spare little thought of how all the food got there?

We expect it to be there, in season or not, and we want to pay a ‘fair’ price for it.

Through our expectations of a secure food supply, we are relying on our farmers here in Wales, the UK and even farmers across the world, to provide just that.

Food security has become the norm in the Western World but the challenges farmers face are rarely at the front of people’s minds.

Thinking about the disruption caused by the Second World War to European food production and distribution, the widespread starvation, and severe, often permanent, illness due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, it seems clear that it is time to recognise that Welsh and UK agriculture have a crucial part to play in the future to avoid such problems and that #FarmingMatters.

The recognition of the need for viable agricultural sectors and stable supplies of affordable food led the UK Government to pass the 1947 Agriculture Act, while on the Continent, the 1957 Treaty of Rome defined objectives of a common European policy.

However, the food security established by the 1947 Agriculture Act and the Common Agricultural Policy has led to significant complacency regarding the importance of agriculture in Wales and the UK, which has in turn led to increasing reliance on imported foodstuff.

The importance of nurturing and supporting Welsh producers, and thereby protecting and improving domestic food security, must be a priority for any government, especially in light of Brexit.

The FUW has long highlighted the importance of food security and how a food security strategy plan would give farmers confidence to develop their businesses, which in turn would support the development of rural areas.

So the next time you pop into your local food shop, spare a thought for the hard working farmers who make sure that food is not a luxury and remember that #FarmingMatters!

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Article source: http://www.bridgend-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=118191&headline=