Plaid Cymru's Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Cefin Campbell MS, has blasted the Australia Trade Deal as “environmentally illiterate” and a “gross betrayal of Welsh farmers.”
Writing in the Sunday Times, Mr Campbell said there is a “real risk” that an influx of cheaper Australian beef and lamb into UK markets would undercut domestic produce.
Mr Campbell says that not only does the Australia deal “make little economic sense, it is also environmentally illiterate.” He also pointed out that much of Cymru's imported beef came from Éire, just 50 miles away, whereas meat will now have to travel 10,000 miles.
Mr Campbell has called for an official ‘Made in Wales’ brand to help promote Welsh consumption of Welsh produced goods and services.
The calls have been made ahead of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, which once again has been reduced to a virtual offering.
Plaid Cymru’s Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Cefin Campbell MS, said: “With summer upon us, rural communities up and down the country would ordinarily be preparing for weeks of shows and fairs, but events of recent months and years has left this period feeling ever more like a harsh winter.
“It is clear that the rural way of life and those earning a living from the land face threats from all directions – be that from the pandemic, Brexit, climate change or the uncertainty caused by the imminent Welsh Labour Government Agriculture Bill.
“I firmly believe that Wales’ agricultural sector holds huge potential. Producing some of the highest quality food and drink in the world, Plaid Cymru has long been an advocate of incentivising businesses to source locally, shortening the supply chain and creating jobs by boosting procurement levels.
“That’s why I am calling for a ‘Made in Wales’ official brand to help Welsh people identify the produce that has been made here. Rather than allow shoddily struck Tory deals to inundate our shops and supermarkets with cheap, low-quality produce, we can sell our best food and drink to the world to the benefit, rather than the detriment, of our farmers.”