Members of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Cymru’s Next Generation Policy Group recently visited Brussels to take a look at the the work done by NFU Cymru and to represent the views of Welsh young farmers.
The Next Generation Policy Group is made up of young farmers from across Wales. The group was launched to encourage young people to consider joining the agricultural industry.
Over two days in November, the group had a tour of the European Parliament, met with influential decision makers in the agricultural sector and visited a dairy farm in Bever where they discussed different farming practises.
They also met with Welsh MEPs Dr Kay Swinburne, Jill Evans and Derek Vaughan. The wide-ranging discussions included UK membership in the European Union; the importance of a functioning Rural Development Programme; and the implementation of electronic identification of sheep in Wales.
Another meeting took place with Conor Mulvihill, European Affairs Officer for the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society. The group heard how co-operatives work in Ireland and what there was to be learned from the Irish model.
As well as posing the questions, the group were asked their views by members of the European Commission, the European Council for Young Farmers, and UK and Welsh Government agricultural representatives.
Group member Rhodri Jones said: “As a group, we passionately believe in the future of our industry and are determined to build successful careers within Wales, so this was a perfect opportunity to help promote our views. It is clear to see the influence that NFU Cymru has in Brussels and this was illustrated by the calibre and quality of the visit they arranged for us.”
NFU Cymru president, Stephen James added: “The group was very professional and challenged some of the policies coming out of Europe. They earned the respect of those they spoke to and represented the views of Welsh farmers extremely well. I would like to thank Dr Kay Swinburne MEP for sponsoring the trip.”
In this article
- Affairs Officer
- Conor Mulvihill
- Derek Vaughan
- European Commission
- European Parliament
- European Union
- influential decision makers
- Jill Evans
- Kay Swinburne
- National Farmers Union
- National Farmers Union of England and Wales
- NFU Cymru
- Stephen James
- Welsh government
- United Kingdom
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