Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Wales Office has been discussing how the UK Government can support Welsh farmers and food and drink producers at a meeting on the Royal Welsh Showground today (8 February).
The Minister was joined by Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Hon George Eustice MP to build on the meetings held with stakeholders at the Royal Welsh Show and across Wales last summer.
Top of the Ministers’ agenda was how the UK Government can further support farmers, producers and the rural tourism industry to ensure they benefit from the opportunities arising as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
Stuart Andrew also visited successful Welsh water company Radnor Hills, who produce a range of water products for a wealth of clients including the airline industry. This year, the company based in Knighton, Powys, will install its eighth production line to increase capacity to produce around 400 million bottles per year, to export to countries including Malaysia, Australia and others within Europe.
UK Government Minister Stuart Andrew said:
“Since my appointment to this role I have been encouraged by the strength and diversity of Wales’ food, drink and agricultural sectors.
“Radnor Hills showcases the very best of Welsh produce on an international level, whilst providing stable employment in Powys.
“But as Britain begins to leave the European Union, now is the time for businesses and producers to broaden their horizons and exporting further afield. The UK Government is fully behind Welsh farmers and businesses as this process is ongoing, lending an ear to their concerns and supporting those who are hoping to trade with new markets overseas.”
Farming Minister George Eustice said:
“I enjoyed listening to the ideas and views of everyone who attended today which will be important in our considerations as we design our new approach.”
Their comments were made as it was revealed that UK food and drink exports to the rest of the world hit a record £22bn last year.