National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

13 April 2011

Wales YFC member attends hearing on the future of Europes young farmers


Marc Jones (left) and Tom Jones (right)
Marc Jones, a Wales YFC member from Montgomeryshire and vice-chariman of the Wales YFC Rural Affairs committee recently attended a hearing on the Future of Europe’s Young Farmers held in Brussels. 

The hearing was held by the European Economic and Social committee which relays opinions directly to the ministers who vote on them and Wales YFC were invited to be present by Mr Tom Jones, one of the Welsh representatives on the EESC.

The aim of the hearing was to try and find answers to a number of questions, including;
What does a young person need when setting up in agriculture?
What measures can benefit young farmers under the various European policies? and
What public policies are required to prevent rural exodus?

During the hearing Marc Jones was one of four young farmers from Germany, Belgium, Wales and Ireland who presented to the committee their expectations for the future of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Marc presented to the committee details regarding the Wales YFC lamb initiative ran in conjunction with Dunbia and Sainsbury’s and the Welsh Assembly Governments Young Entrants Support Scheme and highlighted the main issues which contribute to the difficulties of young farmers and young entrants starting their own businesses which were outlined as availability of ground, entitlements and capital.

Marc stated,
“I would like to thank Tom Jones for allowing Wales YFC a chance to visit Brussels in order to meet with Welsh Assembly Staff there and to present to the European, Economic and Social committee who will have a huge influence on the Common Agricultural Policy itself.

It was a great experience which has allowed me to hear the European Young Farmers views and to show other countries the different issues we have in introducing young farmers to the industry in Wales. The meeting was very positive and with a member of the European Commission present I can see that part of the Common Agricultural Policy will be used to help young farmers from 2014 onwards.

The trip also highlighted how Welsh agriculture’s views were very similar to the other European countries and how Defra’s views were very different. This highlighted the importance of Wales having a voice in Europe”.

Tom Jones who is a past Wales YFC president and vice president of the Wales Council for Voluntary action stated,
“This was an excellent opportunity for the voice of Wales YFC to be heard during a critical period of re-arranging the European Union Agricultural Policy. Marc was given the opportunity to greet and meet with a number of representatives from rural youth organisations across Europe as well as a number of the Assembly Government Officers who are in Brussels.”


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