Farming Connect Study Visit - Lampeter Women in Agriculture Group
Lampeter Women in Agriculture Group
3rd - 4th October 2017
Our group has been looking into the viability of livestock farming post-Brexit and with a meeting with HCC chairman Kevin Roberts pending, we took this opportunity to attend the Meat Women in Business event in London to further develop our understanding of the industry and network with likeminded women from across the UK.
We travelled to London by train, a first experience of rail travel for one member, where everyone filled in questionnaires created by the group leader to focus our attention on our aims for the event. We shared our fears and hopes, expectations and intentions, discovering the range of confidence amongst the group. After arriving in London, we sampled a range of meat products for our evening meal and were appalled to be served Australian beef at a supposedly “quality restaurant”. Whilst the Australian steak was dreadful, the lamb burger was delicious and cheaper - something to learn.
We made the short journey from the hotel to the Meat Women in Business event where we immediately began to network. We decided to split into groups to maximise our exposure. We learned about consumer expectations and demands as well as hearing the concerns of Cranswick, a food processing company, regarding retaining quality staff currently and post-Brexit. We saw how women are valued in a corporate setting and enjoyed the keynote speaker, Margaret Mountford, and her take on managing personal development. We all returned home that afternoon. However, one member had to leave early and found she missed a significant part of the event by not being able to network for the final half hour.
As a result of this trip, all members have greater confidence when speaking about the way forward for our industry. We have also learnt how we might better meet the needs of our consumers and customers and the difference between them. The speakers’ PowerPoints have been shared between the attendees and will be the focus of discussions at future local Women in Agriculture group meetings in Lampeter.
The knowledge gained will enable us to have a more productive meeting with the HCC chairman on 19th October and in the future. We will use our increased understanding of the opportunities to support other women to attend events like this and to encourage more Welsh women into the industry.