(L-R) Jones Village Bakery MD Robin Jones, master baker Paul Andrew, bakery manager Tom Breeze and projects director Christien Jones outside the Wrexham production site 2100x1400

Source: Jones Village Bakery

(L-R) Jones Village Bakery MD Robin Jones, master baker Paul Andrew, bakery manager Tom Breeze, and projects director Christien Jones stand outside the production site at Wrexham Industrial Estate

Jones Village Bakery has shown solidarity with protesting Welsh farmers by putting the campaign logo on its pies and rolls.

The supplier is also placing the ‘No Farmers, No Food’ design on two of its delivery vans as well as having flags flying outside two of its production sites in Wrexham.

A recent wave of mass protests by farmers across Wales have come in response to controversial plans from the Welsh Government to change the way post-Brexit farm subsidies are paid.

The proposals, which are contained in the Sustainable Farming Scheme consultation closing today (7 March), could see farmers forced to commit to a checklist designed to reward sustainable farming practices.

A point of major contention in the proposals in the insistence that farmers plant trees on 10% of their land, with a further 10% earmarked as wildlife habitat. Jones Village Bakery shared an estimate that the scheme could result in the loss of 5,500 jobs in rural Wales.

“Once the farmers are gone from the land they are gone for ever”

“We have been following the news recently about the plight of the Welsh farmers and as a business and keen country people we think the proposals are shambolic,” said Jones Village Bakery managing director Robin Jones.

“We have had our local sourcing policing for nearly a quarter of a century and if we can’t buy local, quality produce its going to drive up prices for the consumer and we think enough is enough. We can’t sit idly by and watch what’s going on. We are there to support and show solidarity with the farming community,” he added.

Jones, who was previously chair of the Welsh Agri-Food Board, noted that the opposition to the new plan was not just about the impact on individual farmers, but about the whole eco-system of the rural economy.

“Farmers are at the centre of a vitally important economic and cultural network upon which the countryside depends. Without a policy that promotes sustainable agriculture, which enables farmers to make a living, the whole of the rural economy is going to collapse,” he asserted.

“I’m very proud of what the Welsh food economy is all about in terms of quality and provenance. There are some really great stories here but if we carry on this road, I am at a loss as to where we’ll be in five or 10 years’ time. Once the farmers are gone from the land they are gone for ever,” warned Jones, while recognising that the Welsh Government has done a lot to champion the Welsh food and drink industry in the past.

The 'No Farmers, No Food' logo is displayed on packaging for Jones Village Bakery's Jumbo Sausage Rolls  2100x1400

Source: Jones Village Bakery

The ‘No Farmers, No Food’ logo is displayed on packaging for Jones Village Bakery’s Jumbo Sausage Rolls

The sentiment was echoed by Robin’s brother Christien Jones, projects director at the family-run firm, who expressed pride in its existing environmentally friendly policies especially conservation of a “magical secret forest” in the middle of one of Europe’s biggest industrial parks. The ancient six-acre Erlas Black Wood belongs to the company and is located next door to their 140,000 sq ft super bakery on Wrexham Industrial Estate, which reopened in 2021 following a devastating fire two years prior.

“It’s great to plant trees and it’s great to plant wildlife areas and a lot of farmers have been doing this anyway via the Glastir programme for many years,” commented Christien, adding that they are better ways of promoting sustainable agriculture than the current proposals he described as “ill-thought out”.

“There is a lack of understanding about how farming works. There’s also a lack of empathy,” he continued. “We have lost other industries in Wales but food and farming has got to be protected. If you lose the capacity to produce food you open the door to lower quality food that’s produced to lower standards in a less sustainable way.”

Earlier this year, Jones Village Bakery secured a “lucrative contract” to supply pancakes to a major Australian wholesale and distribution firm. Soaring demand for its flagship bread products saw the company recruit 30 new night workers last May

As of December 2023, Jones Village Bakery employs 850 people across its production sites – it said it is heading for a record £100 million turnover for its latest financial year.