Helen Mary Jones MS is calling on businesses across Llanelli and the region to get in touch to discuss the real challenges they face due to the pandemic and Brexit. Helen Mary is continuously raising issues, concerns and innovative solutions at the Senedd, particularly with Welsh Government Ministers, so problems can be fixed and good ideas get shared. This week, she met with Llaeth Beynon Dairy, owned by local farmer and businessman Ifan Beynon-Thomas, who has unearthed an innovative and sustainable solution to pouring gallons of fresh milk down the drain.
Ifan was heartbroken at having to pour so much milk away at the start of lockdown. It was upsetting not only because of all the work, care and effort gone into looking after and milking the cows but also because there were more and more people going hungry, and gallons and gallons of nutritious milk being poured away. This was not a problem unique to Llanelli, and Wales-wide farmers united in their call to the Government to help them overcome the issues and red-tape that meant they had to waste to thousands of gallons of milk and a loss of income.
Helen Mary Jones, Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales, said:
“I have been working with many concerned farmers across the region and know first-hand how hard Ifan and his family have worked to overcome many problems facing the farming sector. I wanted to learn more about the detail and success of their milk dispensing unit as its important to share positive messages and practical solutions.
The new venture is one way that a working farm can invest in a sustainable future; sustainable financially bringing a new income stream for the farm and in this case making sure the Llanelli £ stays in Llanelli, sustainable socially as the milk is provided ‘fresh from the farm’ to local people 24 hours a day, and sustainable environmentally as there is no food miles, people reuse their glass bottles and there is no waste. It’s a great model!”
Ifan Beynon-Thomas needed to invest in a pasteurising unit in order to be able to sell his farm milk direct to customers, he also needed to build the dispensing unit and provide glass bottles. He explained:
“Once the problem became real and we having to pour milk away, where we could have been giving it to those most in need and selling it more locally, I decided to act quickly to make sure this didn’t keep happening. I also didn’t want to have our hands tied so much, its our business and if we wanted to provide milk locally then we should be able to.
Working locally and supporting our local community is really important to us. So it’s more than a business venture, it gives us more control to do the right thing.”
Helen Mary Jones is passionate about changing the way we work, about strengthening local economies and keeping profits local. If you have a story to share or an idea for Plaid Cymru, please get in touch.