This year, after a three year break due to the Coronavirus pandemic, NFU Cymru’s annual conference will return for a jam-packed in-person event. This year’s conference will also be my first as President of NFU Cymru and something that I am really looking forward to.

The farming landscape has changed considerably since our last in-person conference due to a number of factors including the Coronavirus pandemic, the conflict in the Ukraine, huge hikes in input costs as well as the cost-of-living crisis. There is also the significant shift in agricultural policy in Wales.

The conference, this year titled ‘Welsh farming: Planning for change’, will aim to address some of these issues and will once again return to The Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells on Thursday 3rd November, where members will hear from a wide range of speakers.

I will have the honour of opening the conference as well as announcing the winner of this year’s NFU Cymru / Wynnstay Sustainable Agriculture Award. Members will then receive a Political Address from Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths MS.

Following Minister Griffiths, we will hear from Mark Berrisford-Smith, Chief Economic Officer at HSBC in an economic outlook titled ‘A tug of war – fiscal policy loosens as monetary policy tightens’, before we move on to hear about ‘Sustainability within the Welsh supply chain’ from Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture and Sustainability for Morrisons, Huw Thomas, Managing Director of Puffin Produce and Edward Morgan, Group CSR Manager at Castell Howell Foods.

Before lunch, we will hear from Professor Alice Stanton, Professor at RCSI & Director of Human Health at Devenish Nutrition about the ‘Nutritional Benefits of Animal-Source Foods’.

After the lunch break, we have a packed afternoon agenda starting with a session on the challenges surrounding sustainability titled ‘How do we move beyond carbon to look at the whole picture?’. As part of this session, we will hear from Professor Jude Capper, Professor of Sustainable Beef and Sheep Systems at Harper Adams University.

Our final session of the day will look at the youngsters in the farming industry with Erin McNaught, NFU Cymru Student & Young Farmer Ambassador and Carys Jones and Bryn Perry, members of the NFU Cymru Next Generation Group, discussing ‘The Next Generation and how they are developing a sustainable future’.

It will be so wonderful to all get together in person again after holding these conferences virtually for the past three years. The NFU Cymru conference has steadily grown to be one of the most well-respected events of its kind here in Wales, attracting top speakers, and I am sure will agree that this year is no different.

Members must register in advance to ensure their place and can do so by calling the NFU Cymru office on 01982 554200 or visiting the NFU Cymru website. On the day of the event, please register with the NFU Cymru team as you arrive with registration opening from 9.15am, along with light refreshments. I look forward to welcoming you all for what will no doubt be a fantastic day.