Setting the sheep farming record straight - An evening meeting

Date: 24th October 2019

Time: 7pm

Location: Welshpool Livestock market

The National Sheep Association (NSA) was pleased to be joined by supporters British Wool and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) last night at the first of its ‘Setting the sheep farming record straight’ meetings at Welshpool Livestock Market, Powys.

With almost weekly headlines claiming agriculture is responsible for many of the environmental and health problems facing todays population, NSA’s new series of meetings travelling the length and breadth of the UK is counteracting these arguments by arming attendees with positive information to defend our industry.

A good number of NSA members and other industry supporters as well as college students gathered at Welshpool engaging in enthused discussion about the positive role of sheep in sustainable agriculture and the industry’s importance in maintaining high welfare standards whilst producing nutritious food for a growing population.

Joining the meeting to speak about sheep farming, carbon and global warming, biodiversity and the value of rural communities, NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker reports: “It feels absolutely the right thing to do to be putting effort into positioning our industry as a solution and not the cause of global problems. We’ve experienced unprecedented criticism and attack for the duration of this year. These meetings are the perfect platform to share evidence-based facts and statistics on what the actual situation is rather than that which many of the headline grabbing media would have you believe.”

HCC Meat Quality Executive Dr. Eleri Thomas says “It was good to see a really engaged audience at Welshpool, raising exactly the issues that will be used by us as a levy board over the coming months. We discussed how the industry could give a unified response to the misleading media coverage on livestock farming and ‘meat-free’ food. Also, we had the opportunity to explore how HCC’s industry development work such as the Red Meat Development Programme feeds through into outcomes that have a wide benefit, for instance waste reduction, increasing shelf-life, and telling a consistent story to the consumer of how Welsh red meat is a sustainable, high-welfare, high-quality product.”

British Wool also joined the evening meeting to demonstrate the work it is doing to promote the high welfare standards of UK sheep farmers and shearers. Laura Johnson, Producer Marketing Executive at British Wool comments: “Working together with farmers to negate any negativity around animal welfare in the sheep farming industry is important and these meetings are doing that by giving farmers the confidence to defend their industry against false or misrepresented information.”