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Young farmer focus: Ffion Storer Jones - 'No matter what we eat, it is thanks to a farmer that we do'

Ffion Storer Jones, 25, splits her time between her parents’ 56-hectare sheep hill-farm in Dolanog and Brussels, where she works as advocacy and communications officer at the Fair Trade Advocacy.

Early years: I grew up on a family farm in the rolling hills of Montgomeryshire in Mid Wales.

 

Myself and my siblings grew up learning to rear chicks in springtime, clear stones and sticks from hedgerows ahead of the harvest in summer and defrost water pipes in wintry snow storms.

 

Many others up and down the British Isles who experienced the same upbringing would, I am sure, attest to its uniqueness.

 

It is magical, yet sobering. No matter how horizontal the rain while you struggle to keep hours-old lambs alive or, like we have seen this year, how much of your crop does not survive the blistering summer heat, farmers face numerous and growing challenges.

 

Extreme weather one, increasing overheads another, and, of course, we cannot yet predict the extent of the challenges that Brexit will bring.

 

Fairtrade: The Fairtrade system seeks to ensure a fair deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.

 

I am particularly interested in commodities such as cocoa and coffee, crops that are grown mainly by smallholder farmers with around one to three acres of land, near the equator.


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I started working within the Fairtrade movement shortly after finishing my university studies in London; moving to the Welsh capital to work for Fair Trade Wales.

 

My experiences growing up in agriculture are incredibly helpful in understanding the challenges that face farmers globally.

 

I am now based in Brussels, Belgium, where I work in advocating for policies that protect both EU farmers and those who import into the largest trading bloc in the world.

 

I am passionate that farmers, wherever we are, are paid enough to be able to produce food sustainably.

 

Prices received at market are as far out of the control of the farmers of Montgomeryshire as they are the farmers of Malawi.

 

Fairtrade works to try to solve some of the issues of unequitable global trade, which often sees those at the beginning of the supply chain squeezed the most.

 

Amid the chaos of Brexit, things are increasingly uncertain for the farmers of my homeland and those that have been trading with it for decades. With reform on the horizon, it is important all farmers are considered in new policy decisions.

 

The future: Growing demand for cheaper food available all year round has put incredible strain on the people who choose the demanding world of agriculture for their livelihood.

 

I am passionate about ensuring farmers in Wales are supported in a way that allows them to continue to produce world-class food and drink in a way that is sustainable.

 

I hope to return to the green green grass of home some day and work to ensure the next generation is taught early that we must eat in a way that makes sure both local and international farmers are paid a fair price.

 

Because no matter what we eat, it is thanks to a farmer that we do.

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