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LWA Cymru stand in support with Cymdeithas Trecadwgan

LWA Cymru stand in support with Cymdeithas Trecadwgan
28/02/2020 Steph Wetherell

Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) Cymru would like to express our support for Cymdeithas Trecadwgan in their plans to purchase Trecadwgan County Farm, bring it into community ownership and develop it as an agroecological community farm, that will: work with nature; provide food for the local community; create agricultural jobs; support other food producers; and, be a centre for rural education.

LWA Cymru is the Welsh Branch of the Landworkers’ Alliance, a grassroots union of farmers, growers and land-based workers with a mission to improve the livelihoods of our members and create a healthier, more sustainable food system for everyone. Central to this is the principle that we need a food system that works with nature. Cymdeithas Trecadwgan plan to farm the land using techniques that enhance biodiversity, sequester carbon and increase resilience in the face of climate change. Pembrokeshire County Council have wisely declared a climate emergency and we believe Trecadwgan has the potential to play a crucial role in responding to this.

We campaign for a more localised food system. Local markets increase people’s access to healthy fresh food, and short supply chains are crucial for improving the income and security of small-scale sustainable farmers. Cymdeithas Trecadwgan plans to use Trecadwgan farm to produce food for the local community and to enable other local food businesses to sell their products and teach their craft.

County farms like Trecadwgan, are one of the most powerful levers that local authorities have for helping new entrants into farming. They offer real potential to support local food systems, promote innovative farming methods and deliver environmentally sustainable farming. Trecadwgan is one of many county farms on sale and at danger of becoming lost to the community. Many also become lost out of agriculture as they are turned into holiday homes or other uses that provide little benefit locally. Cymdeithas Trecadwgan are offering a way to keep Trecadwgan Farm as a community asset, despite the council selling it.

We understand that Cymdeithas Trecadwgan have, with the help of backers, secured the farm in two separate auctions (the initial sale fell through due to an overage clause and, without consulting the group, the council put it up to auction again). However, after the official bidding on the second auction had closed the council accepted a higher offer from another bidder. Cymdeithas Trecadwgan were asked to repeatedly to put in counter offers and the council has decided to auction Trecadwgan Farm for third time on the 4th of March. The community has shown incredible resilience throughout this process, but there is no guarantee that they will be successful this time around. If outbid, not only would this beautiful farm be taken out of public or community ownership, it might potentially cease to be used as a farm at all. In either case, an exciting opportunity to create a trailblazing agroecological farm to ensure the wellbeing of the current and future community would be lost.

For more information please contact Holly Tomlinson on holly@landworkersalliance.org.uk.

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