CLA Cymru Director, Nigel Hollett credits last week’s Royal Welsh “Virtual” Show as a success.
“The series of online events preserved the political importance of the Show, it provided a forum for debate and a great opportunity for engagement for the whole agriculture and rural community,” Mr Hollett explains.
“We’ll be overjoyed when the physical event returns, but the Virtual Show has been a success – and we should take advantage of positive lessons-learnt in running an online festival of events in the future.”
Covid 19 prevented Europe’s biggest agricultural show and one of Wales’ primary national events this year.
“The rural economy surrounding Llanelwedd has certainly missed the impact of some 250,000 visitors in Royal Welsh Show-week. The event is a major business-opportunity for many rural firms.” Mr Hollett adds, “For membership organisations such as the CLA – it’s a vital moment when we meet and engage with many members – we welcome new members, we meet other stakeholders in our world and, above all, we have meaningful meetings with Government ministers – both UK and Welsh Governments.”
“The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society acted quickly to establish its “Virtual Show,” Nigel Hollett continues. “Thanks to this, our Chair, Rory McLaggan, our Senior Policy Advisor, Fraser McAuley and I were able to take part in constructive panel discussions.”
“A highlight for us was participation of the Welsh Government Minister, Lesley Griffiths MS, by video in one of our own events. This gave us a strong starting-position for debate about the future of farming in Wales.”
Mr Hollett adds,
“The online events focused on green recovery, how we build a holistic solution for agricultural support and how the rural economy can play its part in combating climate change, managing air – and water – quality and conservation. We departed the Virtual Royal Welsh Show-week with a sense that momentum’s not been lost in many of today’s key issues.”
“Covid 19 has brought us new ways of working – healthier for mind and body, more family-friendly, and better for the environment. Taking part online requires adequate broadband connectivity,” Nigel Hollett concluded. “A lesson of the crisis is that delivering quality coverage throughout Wales must be a government priority.”