Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has reminded the public of the role livestock farming plays in looking after the environment.

Emily Jones HCC Copy

Emily Jones farms alongside her parents, producing Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef.

HCC stressed that there is a marked difference in production systems across the world. Rachael Madeley-Davies, HCC's head of sustainability and future policy, said: "Welsh livestock farmers know that if you look after the environment, the environment will look after you.

"For centuries, they have played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining the spectacularly beautiful rural landscapes that we know and love, and their sustainable management has helped create a diverse rural environment that is rich in wildlife and visitor friendly, thanks to a network of footpaths maintained by farmers."

HCC said that while the impact of agriculture on climate change remains a "very hot topic", HCC is reminding people of the huge variations in the environmental impact of different farming systems across the world, with Wales being especially suited for rearing cattle and sheep.

"The Welsh Way of farming has a very different story to tell compared with some of the intensive and industrial systems found in other parts of the world," said Madeley-Davies. "With high standards of animal husbandry and grassland management, our family-run farms have helped preserve our unique landscape for generations and will continue to do so for generations to come."

The trade body said the vast majority (80%) of Welsh farmland is "unsuitable for growing crops", therefore raising cattle and sheep is the most efficient way to turn marginal land into high-quality food. It said that the Welsh Way of Farming is "largely non-intensive" - unlike other parts of the world, where water resources are depleted, or significant land is used to grow feed, Welsh sheep and cattle are overwhelmingly reared on our natural resources - grass and rainwater.

Producing Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef

Using Welsh grassland to capture carbon is Emily Jones, who alongside her parents Peter and Gill, use experience gained from generations of farming heritage to produce Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef.

Jones works on Garnwen Farm in Penuwch, a 150-acre beef and sheep farm that includes a commercial flock of EasyCare and South Wales Mountain, along with pedigree North Country Park Cheviots, North Country Hill Cheviots and Charmoise Hill sheep. In terms of beef, the herd includes Stabiliser crosses, pedigree Beef Shorthorns and Red Poll cattle.

Speaking about their farming system, Jones said: "We make every effort to go back to the old times - to older farming traditions. But we're also looking ahead and doing our bit to help the environment, such as increasing the amount of carbon capture and farming in harmony with nature.

"This has included planting herbal leys, which include clover, chicory and plantain. All of these have natural uses and will help us improve soil health and productivity on farm, therefore reducing our carbon emissions.

"This has been a relatively new thing for us here at Garnwen, but we are aware of the impact of climate change and determined to be part of the solution in producing quality food in the most environmentally friendly way possible."

This story was originally published on a previous version of the Meat Management website and so there may be some missing images and formatting issues.