The diversity of the Welsh countryside and rural communities will be highlighted by Wales Office ministers this week as they celebrate the best of Welsh agriculture and produce at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show (22 – 25 July).
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones and Baroness Jenny Randerson will visit a host of organisations across two days, to discuss issues facing the agriculture sector, and to view the showcase of superb Welsh produce on offer.
Mr Jones will attend the opening day of the Show in Llanelwedd (22 July), which is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary on its permanent site. He will meet with NFU Cymru and the Farmers’ Union of Wales, before taking a tour of the showground, visiting a number of exhibitors, including the Country Land and Business Association and the Army in Wales.
He will also underline the Government’s support for Welsh language broadcasting when he visits the S4C stand to meet its Chairman, Huw Jones, and its Chief Executive, Ian Jones.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones said:
The rural economy is extremely important to Wales, and that is why this Government is working hard to support communities and businesses so they can prosper and grow.
During my trade and investment visit to Hong Kong earlier this year, I was able to see first hand the enthusiasm consumers in Asia have for Welsh lamb in particular. Hong Kong is an important market for Welsh lamb and has been for a number of years, helping to boost its reputation in the Far East as a premium product.
Closer to home, the investment that has been made by the UK Government in Wales for broadband provision and mobile communication improvements is a clear demonstration of how we are breaking down barriers to encourage growth in the Welsh rural economy.
I am also fully aware of how the snowfall we saw across the UK earlier this year took a terrible financial and emotional toll on farmers. I am here both to learn more and to see for myself how the quality of Welsh farming has remained high, even through these tough times.
Wales Office Minister with responsibility for rural affairs, Baroness Jenny Randerson will visit the showground on Thursday 25 July. As well as meeting with farming organisations, her busy schedule of exhibitor visits will also include meetings with charitable organisations, the National Trust in Wales and Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales).
Baroness Randerson said:
The Royal Welsh show provides the perfect platform for us to celebrate the richness and diversity of the Welsh countryside.
From the quality of our meat exports, to the splendour of our botanical gardens and heritage properties, the reputation Welsh culture and produce has at home and overseas is something to be celebrated.
Year upon year, thousands of visitors descend on Builth Wells to experience this important event on the agricultural calendar, and I am sure that this year will be no different.