During a visit to Ffridd Farm in Llandegai today with Dafydd Wigley, Plaid Cymru leadership candidate, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said he was eager to lead a Plaid Cymru that would recognise that our countryside is a treasure, not a burden.
Discussing his vision for agriculture and rural Wales with local farmers and industry representatives, Rhun said:
“It is a core part of my nationalism to see Wales as one, both urban and rural, and my vision includes identifying and meeting the needs of rural Wales. Securing transport and digital links, supporting enterprise and reflecting the needs of rural areas in innovation in education, health and care. Our rural areas are a treasure, not a burden, and government decisions must reflect that. ”
He said that Brexit was a huge threat to rural Wales and agriculture in particular.
“As Plaid Cymru leader I will fight for the best deal for farmers in the face of Brexit.
“I am clear that people need to have the opportunity to vote on leaving or staying in the European Union based on what is being offered following UK Government discussions, which is no adeal or a bad deal. People must be given a choice at the end of this process – that’s what real democracy is.
“But if we do leave, agriculture in Wales must be given the best possible support, and the Welsh Government must understand the dangers of moving too fast towards stopping direct payments.”
Another important issue to the agriculture industry is the ability to add value to a product by branding it as a quality Welsh product. At the Royal Welsh Show this summer, Rhun drew attention to the fact that the branding in the food hall had been changed to a British brand rather than a Welsh brand, and he has promised to develop a strong and clear Brand for Wales:
“While local branding is becoming increasingly popular in other countries, it was depressing to see the identity of Welsh countryside products being hidden during one of the most important platforms for it. As First Minister, I would develop a clear Welsh brand and reject Britainisation.
“It’s time for us to have a Welsh Government that takes pride in our products; that does more to promote it on a national level; and that is willing to stand against the efforts of the British Government to weaken our identity.”