Organic food and farming at the Winter Fair
Bread made from Welsh organic wheat will be one of the talking points at the Winter Fair in Builth this year, where Organic Centre Wales will be hosting the organic area on the balcony of the Livestock Building.
Organic Centre Wales will have its own stand with organic coffee and snacks. Staff will be on hand to deal with technical queries as part of the Farming Connect Organic Development Programme, and to discuss the Organic Farming Conversion Scheme which is now open until 3 December, and Glastir.
A special feature will be bread made from wheat grown organically in Ceredigion, and information about cereal growing in Wales. The flour for the bread was milled at Felinganol, a working water-powered cornmill with original machinery in Llanrhystud, and it came from Paragon wheat grown at the University farm at Trawsgoed.
There will also be bread from Mair's Bakehouse, Carmarthenshire, who use natural fermentation methods with a variety of cereals. Samples will be available to taste with prize-winning Caws Cenarth and Sanclêr cheeses.
Further information about the growing of arable crops in Wales will be on display. The Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) project is investigating whether more Welsh farmers could grow grain for milling and baking locally, to supply a growing niche market.
It might be that Glastir, with its options to grow unsprayed and undersown spring sown cereals, will not only earn farmers valuable points but be the encouragement they need to grow more wheat, barley and oats, thereby reducing our reliance on imported grain, said Phil Jones of OCW.
There will be information available on how the BOBL project is working to support organic supply chains in Wales, with research, training and schools projects.
Also present will be representatives from the three main certification organisations who work in Wales the Soil Association Certification Limited, Organic Farmers and Growers, and Quality Welsh Livestock Certification and organic livestock marketing group Graig Producers. They all look forward to meeting producers.
The Winter Fair is a fantastic opportunity to catch up with friends old and new, says Carolyn Wacher of Organic Centre Wales, so please do bring your queries about production and your views about the future, and we will do our best to answer them. Don't forget also to visit the Food Hall and stock up on some organic produce for Christmas.
The Winter Fair runs for two days, Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 November, at the Royal Welsh Showground. Organic Centre Wales, the certification organisations and Graig Producers will be on the Balcony in the Livestock Building, Stand Number EXB 266.
Carolyn Wacher, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01970 621852.
Notes for editors
1. Organic Centre Wales is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to provide information on organic food and farming to producers, food businesses, consumers and others. It is based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University. See www.organiccentrewales.org.uk.
2. Farming Connect, working closely with its partner organisations, provides one to one support, knowledge, expertise, training and advisory services tailored to the needs of farmers in Wales. Many of these services are fully funded or subsidised and the service is both flexible and accessible. You can register with the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813 or contact Farming Connect directly at your nearest WAG Divisional Office. OCW is funded by Farming Connect to deliver the Organic Development Programme. Farming Connect is funded through the Rural Development Plan 20072013, which is financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Assembly Government.
3. The Organic Farming Conversion Scheme is open for applications until 3 December, and provides support for the conversion period only. Farmers need to submit a completed application form and an outline conversion plan to the Welsh Assembly Government by this date. Further information can be obtained from WAG Divisional Offices and OCW. There is limited capacity to help with the preparation of applications and conversion plans through the Organic Conversion Information Service, and farmers who require assistance should contact the OCW helpline as soon as possible (01970 622100; email@example.com). See more details.
4. The Organic Conversion Information Service (01970 622100) is funded by WAG to provide information to producers considering conversion an information pack and up to three free on-farm visits are available.