Farming leader urges military to buy more Welsh food

14/05/2009 - 00:00
High-ranking military officers on a visit to the Farmers' Union of Wales president Gareth Vaughan's farm were urged to buy more Welsh produce as a mark of support for farmers.

Four influential representatives of the UK's armed forces were joined by eight colonels from forces around the world - including Malta, Serbia, Algeria, Chile, Tanzania, Unites States, Italy, and the Cameroons - on the visit to Mr Vaughan's 861-acre beef and sheep farm at Dolfor, near Newtown. Mr Vaughan explained to the group from the Royal College of Defence Studies in London that farmers in many parts of Wales allowed military exercises on their land and the skies of Wales were regularly overflown by RAF jets on training missions. "I told them we understood the crucial necessity for such training, especially when our forces are engaged in armed combat overseas, but at the same time we would like to see the Ministry of Defence procure more quality Welsh food, such as beef and lamb, from our farms. "We understand the MoD spends £150m a year to deliver food to British armed forces around the world. Its contract involves the frequent delivery of 1,500 fresh, chilled and frozen food products to 1,200 military bases including the South Atlantic, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, the UK and Germany. "As Welsh farmers all we are asking is a bit more fair play in response to our willingness to cooperate with the armed forces during their vital training for loyal service in countries around the world," said Mr Vaughan.

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