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Pembrokeshire Creamery unveils advanced milk processing plant will open in 2024



IN A SIGNIFICANT boost for Welsh agriculture, Pembrokeshire Creamery has announced the inauguration of its cutting-edge liquid milk processing unit in Haverfordwest, set to commence operations in early 2024.

Located at Withybush, the facility will initially handle the bottling of 60 million litres of milk over its first 12 to 18 months. Upon reaching its full stride, it promises a staggering capacity of 120 million litres annually. This strategic move positions UK supermarkets to delight their Welsh patrons with locally sourced and processed milk, bypassing the current practise of transporting it to England for processing.

The localised processing model not only trims down the food miles but also enhances the supply chain’s efficacy. The Haverfordwest establishment is projected to generate approximately 60 new employment opportunities in its inaugural phase. Additionally, it fortifies the roles in related sectors and supply chains, injecting vibrancy into the local farming landscape and uplifting the rural community.

Pembrokeshire Creamery’s leadership, helmed by Managing Director Mark McQuade, will grace Stand A25 at the Pembrokeshire County Show. McQuade commented on the venture, “The overwhelming interest from both supermarkets and wholesalers underscores the enthusiasm for Welsh milk bottled right here. Our participation in the show is poised to serve as a nexus for dairy farmers, customers, and suppliers, laying the groundwork for symbiotic business ties and fuelling the Welsh agricultural and rural economy.”

He passionately added, “Our vision is clear – for every drop of Welsh milk sold in Wales to be home-grown and home-bottled.”

Dairy farmers keen on collaborating or gaining insights into this ambitious project can reach out via

Pembrokeshire Creamery’s evolution has been bolstered by the Welsh Government, the EU RDP-backed Food Business Investment Scheme, and additional financial support from HSBC.

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Meet the winners of Pembrokeshire County Show 2023



THE PEMBROKESHIRE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY has said that it would like to thank all those who supported this year’s event with competitor numbers up on the previous year as well as a significant increase in the number of trade stands and ticket sales.

The Society has praised the hard work of the huge army of volunteers, sponsors and exhibitors, without whom it would not have been possible to hold the Show.

Brian Jones, Pembrokeshire County Show President, said, “Thank you to everyone who came and supported the Show. We were certainly blessed with two days of glorious weather which I’ve no doubt helped in bringing the crowds to the showground. All the rain we had had prior to the show certainly made parking a challenge on day one but we must thank everyone for their patience as we found alternative solutions. Planning now begins for the 2024 event!”

Award winners at this year’s Pembrokeshire County Show included:

Baron de Rutzen Award Those under the age of 45 who farm in Pembrokeshire and could demonstrate their farm’s use of the latest technological methods to promote progressive, sustainable agriculture were encouraged to enter the prestigious Baron de Rutzen Award. The winners were Mark and Caroline Davies of Little Newcastle, Haverfordwest. They milk 230 pedigree Holsteins through a fully automated system. They rear their own replacements and also have a small beef enterprise. The farm is all grassland and they follow a strict reseeding and liming policy to optimise the yield from their multi-cut silage system. The couple place significant emphasis on animal health, husbandry and breeding to maximise the efficiency of their system.

Student Bursary Award was awarded to Lottie Wilson from Hayscastle. The £1,000 bursary is open annually to all qualifying students studying agriculture, veterinary science, agricultural engineering, food technology, forestry or other subjects clearly allied to agriculture. Lottie is currently studying agriculture at the University of Nottingham. When she’s at home she is a general dairy farm worker as well as a lambing hand and a calving beef herd assistant. In 2021 she was the top agriculture student at Hartpury College.

Ambassador for 2024 to help support officeholders in promoting and meeting the aims of the Society. During the show, the role was awarded to Ffion Edwards, a nurse, from Maenclochog. She has enjoyed many many years of attending the county show and believes that there are so many good elements to it. Ffion has been a member of Llysyfran YFC for 15 years and enjoys every aspect of young farmers – trying new experiences, competing and travelling to name a few.

Long Service Award – Farm and estate workers from Pembrokeshire, who have been employed on the land for 25 years or more, could be nominated for this Award. There were two recipients for the inscribed Awards: Darran Davies from Scleddau, Fishguard and Richard Davies from Treffgarn Owen, Haverfordwest.

The next event to be held on the Showground will be the Christmas Fair which takes place on Sunday, 10 December between 10am and 4pm. There will be gift and craft stalls, food and drink, festive music and a Santa’s Grotto. Admission is Free.

The date has been set for Wales’ largest county agricultural show, Pembrokeshire County Show in 2024. The event will take place on 14 and 15 August at Pembrokeshire County Showground in Haverfordwest.

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Director for Rural Affairs visits Welsh project farm



AS THE BRO CORS CARON SMS project comes to an end, we were fortunate to have a visit to Cruglas Farm from the Welsh Government’s Director for Rural Affairs, Gian Marco Currado. Responsible for the team devising the Sustainable Farming Scheme (or SFS, the future Welsh agri-environment scheme due in 2025), Mr Currado had visited the project area to learn more about the work of Terry Mills at Cruglas Farm and of the wider Bro Cors Caron Farmer Cluster; the research of the GWCT relating to sustainable land management; and to hear from the Welsh farmers involved with the project.

The day started with a tour around Cruglas Farm, a beef and sheep farm owned by Terry Mills who has spent 30 years creating a haven for wildlife. The habitat creation includes the establishment of extensive hedgerows and wooded areas across the farm, with 42 different tree species.

A key element of the future SFS is tree planting, which has resulted in numerous discussions surrounding how tree planting could be implemented through the scheme to ensure that tree cover increases in Wales, but without impeding food productivity and the profitability of Welsh farms. GWCT Wales have, along with most farmers in Wales, expressed reservations about a blanket approach and highlighted several measures that could be adopted to ensure a more proportionate approach and potentially increase the scheme uptake amongst the farming community. GWCT would like at least some hedges be included in the tree planting quota and with GWCT’s recently developed hedgerow carbon code we can measure the carbon stored within each hedgerow. We would like to see trees planted in the right place, so they don’t remove productive land from food production; don’t disadvantage nature while meeting the desired outcome of continuous suitable woodland. GWCT would also like to see the multiple benefits of hedgerows for wildlife and livestock farming, including biosecurity, and their ability to store carbon.

In addition to habitat creation, management practices traditionally related to game management that Terry uses were discussed. Terry Mills carries out predation management and overwinter supplementary feeding on Cruglas, and these practices have now been implemented on a wider scale across the Bro Cors Caron Farmer Cluster within the SMS scheme. We were able to explain these measures on the tour around Cruglas, highlighting the research conducted by the GWCT at the Allerton Project showing the importance of these management practices for threatened farmland species and their potential for inclusion in the new SFS.

Farmers in the Bro Cors Caron Farmer Cluster discussed sustainable land management, where profitable food production, functioning ecosystem services and thriving local wildlife can all co-exist, alongside strong rural communities and a resilient Welsh language. The achievement of these goals requires cooperation and trust between Welsh Government and farmers and a flexible and adaptable agri-environment scheme which values and takes into account the knowledge of Working Conservationists on the ground.

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Wales ‘risks hundreds of sustainable firms’ by scrapping organic farming support



THE WELSH GOVERNMENT has come under fire for its plans to withdraw support for organic farming, posing an “existential threat” to hundreds of sustainable food and farming businesses.

In a post-Brexit overhaul of farm support intended to bolster sustainable farming, £3.1 million of support is being withdrawn from Wales’ nature-friendly farming pioneers – according to the Welsh Organic Forum.

Funding that organic farmers currently receive for delivering environmental benefits is due to end at the end of 2023, and the interim Agri-Environment Scheme for 2024 has no provision to replicate this support.

When farmers are already struggling with rising costs and low farm gate prices due to the cost-of-living crisis, the forum has warned the Welsh First Minister that the move could put hundreds of organic businesses at risk of collapse.

They say it will throw Wales behind England, Scotland, and other EU countries where organic farming is being recognised and supported – and with 50% more wildlife and less energy used on organic farms, the decision is also at odds with the Welsh government’s climate and nature goals.

Open letter to the First Minister

An open letter to the First Minister Mark Drakeford, signed by the Welsh Organic Forum and alarmed businesses and organisations, said: “We are shocked that the Welsh Government looks set to reject a globally recognised beacon of sustainable farming. A withdrawal of support for organic farming will have serious economic and environmental consequences in Wales.

“The decision poses an existential risk to the Welsh food and farming sector’s ability to deliver to our climate, nature and food security obligations. It is likely to precipitate a mass exodus of organic farmers, inflicting long lasting damage on the sector.”

For decades Wales has led the UK in the development of the organic farming movement – Wales currently has the highest proportion of land area certified as organic in the UK.

Scotland is aiming to double its organic farmland by 2030, while the EU is aiming for 25% of all land to be organic by the same deadline. Westminster has committed to delivering an organic standard next year in its new Environmental Land Management Scheme, and to maintaining current funding for organic.

And despite the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic, the organic market in the UK has seen growth for 11 consecutive years.

The forum points out that other nations would be “more than happy to supply our markets” – albeit with risk and disruption to UK businesses who currently rely on Welsh organic produce.

Decades of investment set to be squandered

Welsh organic dairy farmer Haydn Evans, who is chair of the Welsh Organic Forum and Soil Association Cymru’s Head of Farming, said: “It is astounding that the Welsh Government is considering such a short-sighted cost saving exercise when organic farmers have been leading the way in sustainable farming for decades. Decades of the government’s own investment in healthy soils, nature-rich farms and pioneering food businesses now looks set to squandered.

“It’s simply irrational for ministers to turn their back on organic farming in Wales when we only have a few years to turn the tide on catastrophic climate change and nature loss. We urge the Welsh Government to consider the long-term costs to all of us if we lose this important sector that is delivering so much good for wildlife, people, and planet.”

Patrick Holden, Welsh organic dairy farmer and chief executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, said: “As one of Wales’s longest established organic farmers, having just celebrated our 50th anniversary of farming using organic principles and practices, I believe that the decision to withdraw support payments will inflict long-term damage, not just on the organic sector but on Welsh agricultural community as a whole. I suspect that the view taken by the minister, namely “don’t let the best be the enemy of the good” although no doubt well-intentioned, did not take account of the fact that for the last couple of years, organic producers have been really struggling. This decision may represent the final straw for a number of small family dairy farms”.

The forum has called for an urgent meeting with Welsh Government, offering to work with Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths to secure a future for organic to renew their previous longstanding commitment to the sector.

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