Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
Shadow Farming Minister Nick Smith MP is celebrating the importance of our farming industry as part of Open Farm Sunday in Blaenau Gwent.
Organised by national charity LEAF, the popular event will see hundreds of farms open their gates to the public on June 5.
Alongside school visits throughout June, Open Farm Sunday aims to give families a glimpse into life on the farm – everything from walks and tractor rides to pond dipping and farmers markets will be on offer around the country.
As part of the build up, Mr Smith visited Cwmcelyn farmer Anthony Price to discuss everything from off-road biking problems to the positives of the EU.
Speaking in the build up to the day, Mr Smith said it was a great opportunity for people to get in touch with a community that keep our dinner tables loaded and fridges full.
“With 3.8m people in the agriculture industry and the food and farming sector worth £103bn, farming is one of the real pillars our country is built on,” he said.
“But many of us don’t realise just how big and important it is, or the amount of farms just on our doorstep.
“It’s all too easy today to be wrapped up in technology without realising where the food on our plates comes from.
“I would urge everyone to make some time for Open Farm Sunday in June and enjoy the best of what the country has to offer”
The EU referendum on June 23 will play a big part in shaping the future of farming in the UK.
CAP support accounts for 55% of UK farming income, while nine of our top ten import destinations and seven of our top ten export destinations for food are in the EU.
Mr Smith said: “Rural communities including farmers are going through tough times at the moment.
“Farmgate prices mean it’s difficult to keep farm business heads above water, crucial services such as broadband need to be discussed and the government needs to act so rural communities aren’t left behind.
“It’s more important than ever that farmers need access to the massive EU market for British goods.”
For more information on Open Farm Sunday and for details of the nearest farm visit near you, go to https://farmsunday.org/
Pic: Nick with Anthony Price and family in Cwmcelyn