If you look up the word ‘value’ in the dictionary, you’ll see it described as ‘the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something’. No matter your occupation, or walk of life, we all like to feel valued, writes NFU Cymru President Aled Jones.

I’m really pleased that our farming sector has recently had a high commendation of this nature from you – the public – in the last couple of weeks. An indication that you value the services we provide.

Recently NFU Cymru commissioned market research company YouGov to poll Welsh adults on their views around Welsh food and farming.

The key finding of the survey was that 82% of the population support Welsh Government providing financial support to farmers to produce food. While farmers carry out a wide range of work that benefits many areas of the public’s lives - including caring for the environment and tackling climate change, boosting the economy, managing our landscapes and championing Welsh language and culture – we all see our primary role as feeding the nation. It’s terrific, therefore, to see that the overwhelming majority of adults in Wales support the Welsh Government providing financial support to farmers to produce nutritious and sustainable food for a growing population.

The credentials of our products were also highly valued. Three quarters of the Welsh population view food produced in Wales as high quality. It was also pleasing to see that two thirds of people want to see the amount of locally produced food used in the public sector – in our schools and hospitals, for example – increased.

The results of this survey have provided a welcome boost for Welsh farmers at a time of much challenge and uncertainty, with government budgets under severe pressure and policy change on the horizon. I can assure you that your support is greatly appreciated by everyone in the sector and we do not take the support we receive for granted. The reality of modern day supply chains is that farmers are the ones carrying the largest business risk, but do not always receive an equal return for their products as others in the supply chain. The stability provided by support from the taxpayer helps ensure that we can have viable businesses that can continue to produce food in times of volatility, something that, in recent times, we have unfortunately seen a great deal of.