“CLA members; government ministers, political representatives and stakeholders; our event speakers and panellists; and finally the CLA team – some from outside Wales - I’m grateful to all four in helping us deliver a truly successful and enjoyable CLA presence at the Royal Welsh Show last week,” says CLA Cymru Director, Nigel Hollett.
“However, no end of term celebration is this. Our show experience has given us a robust set of priorities and a conviction to chart progress in supporting members’ interests. We will continue to focus on the Welsh Government’s emerging Sustainable Farming Scheme, the approach to reaching net-zero and the implications for land managers, and a series of developments in residential letting, second homes and holiday lets and tax for tourism.” Nigel adds, “These are challenging, but the show feedback told us that we’re at-one with our members views and pushing hard in the right directions.”
“The show proved just how much we always value meeting members and their guests who join us for our events, to meet us, or to just enjoy the facilities of our pavilion and marquee. CLA President and Vice President, Mark Tufnell and Victoria Vyvyan respectively played a fantastic part as hosts and speakers at our events. I am very grateful to them.”
“In the past couple of years, we’ve made specific improvements to how we engage directly with members, but there’s no substitute for meeting in the flesh. It was a pleasure to meet many of our officers, branch committee members and many other members of our community. Our committees played an important part in influencing our approach to - and planning for - the show. I’m grateful to them for this valuable input. The pavilion/marquee was a great venue for holding events and meetings and it continues to be demand by government and other organisations to host their gatherings relevant to us.”
Nigel adds, “We were pleased to host agriculture and rural business round-table events for the new Secretary of State for Wales, Sir Robert Buckland MP, and also (separately) with the UK’s Commissioner for Trade with Europe, Chris Barton. Equally, we hosted the first live meeting of the Senedd Cross Party Group for Rural Growth. Chaired by Sam Kurtz MS, this body includes representatives from all four political parties represented in the Senedd. At this meeting, the Group committed to dive into policy on rural housing and tourism as well as agriculture and the food, fibre and fuel supply chain.”
“This year we hosted three separate events focusing first on upland farming, forestry and climate change; secondly on farming and food resilience; and thirdly on housing holiday lets, tourism and tax. We heard the voices of real expertise. Members and guests were able to challenge our panels, pose questions, and offer solutions. And in our CLA Women’s’ Network event, from Dr Nerys Llewelyn-Jones, we heard a prominent member’s insights into the female perspective on the challenges and opportunities in our sector.”
“For the first time in many years CLA Cymru was a sponsor of the show – providing us with a presence – but visual and audible – at presentations of awards and prizes in livestock and fur-and-feather classes. Not only is it a pleasure to see our senior officers presenting trophies and awards, moreover this provides us with an excellent opportunity to increase high quality awareness of our organisation and the services we provide – to a highly targeted audience.”
“This summer we take our listening ears and our strong voices to many of the key regional agricultural shows. Here we expect to be learning more, meeting more members and stakeholders – and hopefully meeting many more new members too.”