Plaid Cymru's 'buy local' campaign to boost farmers

The campaign wants to encourage consumers to buy more locally produced food and boost the local economy
The campaign wants to encourage consumers to buy more locally produced food and boost the local economy

A new campaign looking to boost the Welsh farming industry by encouraging the public to buy local has been launched by Plaid Cymru.

The 'I'm buying local" initiative aims to help farming businesses cope with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sudden closure of restaurants and coffee shops and the loss of export markets saw many Welsh farmers lose their markets overnight.

But the new campaign wants to focus on the high-quality local food produced in Wales to improve food security and boost farmers’ incomes.

It also wants to highlight how the coronavirus pandemic could provide an opportunity to re-set the Welsh economy.

The campaign has been launched by Llyr Gruffydd, the party's shadow rural affairs minister, and Ben Lake MP, Plaid's Westminster spokesperson on rural affairs.

Mr Gruffydd explained that the Welsh food and drink industry had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re urging everyone to make that extra effort to back Welsh food and drink producers wherever possible," he said, adding that the public should celebrate the world-class produce Wales offers.

He said: "We’ve all seen images of milk being poured down the drain and beef prices have also been severely hit, leaving farms incurring losses and struggling to survive."

Ben Lake noted that some councils in Wales procure school dinner basics such as potatoes and bread from Rochdale and Liverpool.

"Millions of pounds leak out of the Welsh public purse each year because local producers and enterprises are overlooked or unable to compete with the bigger corporations," Mr Lake said.

"Building a resilient food industry means not only backing our farmers but also developing processing and developing added value for our raw materials.

"To achieve that, we need a strong united voice for the Welsh food industry to protect and support our food producers and agriculture."

Welsh farming plays a vital role in the broader economy, achieving record exports worth over a half a billion pounds in 2018.