National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 April 2022

Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) have pledged to do more to support British farmers following a vote at the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) 90th Annual General Meeting in Warwickshire on 24 April 2022.

The 580 YFCs across England and Wales voted in favour of a motion to actively source and promote British local produce for their events and activities, as well as promising to share positive farming messages in all YFC and community activities.

The motion, which was proposed by Aled Thomas from Pembrokeshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, aims to ensure that YFCs support their local farmers, as well as cutting food miles and protecting the environment.

In the proposal of the motion during the AGM, Aled told those attending about the importance of food security – especially following Brexit and the impact of the war in Ukraine.

“We need to spread the positive message about supporting local, further and wider and be more united across the membership to drive the food and farming industry forward,” said Aled in his speech.

“Agriculture is at a turning point and the time to ensure the industry is thriving for generations to come, is now. It won’t be an easy task but anything truly worth fighting for is never simple.”

The motion prompted comments from the floor, with some members raising concerns about the costs of sourcing local food. Counter arguments shared ways to make it more affordable by choosing cheaper cuts of quality local meat and selecting in-season vegetables.

The motion is not intended to force clubs to use only local British produce, but it’s hoped that YFCs will actively consider where they are sourcing their food from for events and activities. Questioning caterers and venues on where they are sourcing produce is also encouraged.

Individual YFC members can play their part by using social media to promote the consumption of in-season fruit and vegetables, and, when dining out, asking restaurants about their food provenance.

Speaking at the podium during the debate Ed Clarke, Vice Chair of Lancashire Federation of YFC said that the motion was a step in the right direction but that more action was needed to support the industry by getting involved with projects to speak to children in schools.

“We are at the forefront of agriculture for young people. We care passionately about what we do. We can tell each other about how good farmers are but we know it already, why don’t we go tell the kids? We need to start publicising ourselves better.”

Robbie Tuer, County Chair of Cumbria FYFC, won the Sidney Fawcett Trophy for making the greatest contribution to the Annual General Meeting’s democratic proceedings with the speech he made in support of the motion.

Robbie said: “If we can source locally where we can and help farmers because it’s going to be a tough time over the next five to six years while things settle down from what’s happening elsewhere in the world. It’s imperative that we do support British agriculture and educate [others] by promoting local produce where we can.”

The motion was passed with 98.3% in favour and the result will be supported by a campaign during National Young Farmers’ Week in October.

NFYFC Chair of Council 2022-23 Ed Dungait said:

“Many members in our Federation are involved in the agricultural industry or are passionate about it. We represent the next generation, making it our responsibility to be leading the way and waving the flag for British food and farming. Our futures depend upon it.

“I am looking forward to enjoying lots of BBQs at YFC events this summer with plenty of local produce on the menu! Together, we can make a difference.”

The 90th Annual General Meeting, was the first in-person AGM since 2019, due to the pandemic, and it was also live-streamed for people who were unable to attend. During the meeting Nigel Owens MBE was re-elected as NFYFC’s President for another year.

Members also voted in favour of increasing the associate membership fee from £10 to £15, which will come into effect from 1 September 2022. The funds raised from associate membership are put towards training for YFC members.

NFYFC membership now stands at more than 20,000 – with lots of new people joining the organisation following on from the pandemic restrictions being lifted.


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