Royal Welsh Winter Fair returns after two years

Crowds of the animal and human kind have flocked to the Royal Welsh Winter Fair which has returned for the first time in two years.

An exhibitor with a heifer, sired by a charolais, in the showring at the Winter Fair.
An exhibitor with a heifer, sired by a charolais, in the showring at the Winter Fair.

Thousands of people braved freezing conditions at the showground in Llanelwedd near Builth Wells for the two day event.

Organisers said the fair was the first vital step towards some kind of normality in the Royal Welsh calendar.

Cancelled last year because of Covid, which also put a stop to the Royal Welsh Society’s premiere event the Royal Welsh Show, everyone was delighted to be back at the festive fair, to see top quality stock and produce and catch up with friends.

Declaring the show open, Chairman of the Council, David Lewis said: “Isn’t it wonderful, yes indeed wonderful, to be back at the Winter Fair again. I am sure we have all been wondering when and if this day would come. Your presence here today confirms that it really has.

“This past 20 months have been tragic for many, many people and trying of course, individually for us all. I hope being here today will provide an uplift for everyone.

“Let us be encouraged by the tremendous and really outstanding quality of produce in the show rings and exhibition halls, we are proud of it.”

The family of Montgomeryshire farmer Richard Tudor, who was tragically killed in a tractor accident at his family farm in Llanerfyl in April 2020, were presented with the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies Fellowship.

The father-of-two was a well-known and experienced livestock farmer who was recognised for his brilliance in 2016 when he won the Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year award.

He was discovered by his son Morgan at Llynsun Farm and his family are now continuing his dairy farming dreams in his memory. They received the award from Emyr Jones, Chairman of CARAS Wales.

Also at the showground on the first day, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society launched a new platform on its website for its members, giving them a look behind the scenes and information not available elsewhere.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths launched a new Welsh food and drink vision at the Fair.

A Vision for the Food & Drink industry from 2021 will build on the sector’s success in Wales with the key aim of helping ensure a flourishing food and drink industry with a global reputation for excellence.

The Vision’s objectives include proportionately growing the turnover of the sector every year to at least £8.5bn by 2025, increasing the number of employees in the sector who receive the Welsh Living Wage to 80 per cent, increasing the proportion of manufacturing businesses holding accreditation and awards and 98 per cent of businesses will have a five star food rating by 2025.

One of the food businesses leading the way at the event was Langford’s Welsh Sausage Company Ltd from Welshpool. The award-winning business was selling sausages, gammon, pork loins and bacon.

They were joined in the Food Hall by the Bee Welsh Honey Company from Builth Wells. Owner Shane Llewellyn-Jones was selling a selection of Welsh honey produced by bees in his 200 hives.

He had just returned from the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham. Shane won best in show at the Royal Welsh Show in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and was awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award in 2019.

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