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Glyn Davies: Promoting quality food in Wales

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"Today's debate is on an important issue for us all, and there are several different aspects to it. First, there is the issue on which Peter Black concentrated, which is that of the general health and wellbeing of the population.

Linked to that is the huge and growing problem—if you will excuse that description—of obesity, which is one of the greatest problems facing our nation.

We have yet to address the full implications of what it means for the Assembly's budget, and for budgets generally, if we do not get to grips with this issue.

The second aspect is that of support for home food production and for the farming community as well as for the creation of jobs in the countryside. Linked to that is the security of supply for the United Kingdom.

The third aspect is that of reducing the impact of climate change on our world, which is a particularly important issue. It is only in circumstances where there is a case for importing produce from a poor and developing country that we should not favour British produce over all others.

I have a long-term interest in the physical wellbeing of the population. We need a strategy to keep people out of hospital.

We often debate the subject of how quickly we can get people into hospital to be treated, but the fundamental issue in running a health service in Britain is to keep people out of hospital.

That debate has a huge number of strands that we have not, as yet, tackled. I have often argued the principle of having a gymnasium for the use of Members and staff in the Assembly. To my mind, that would set an example to every significant employer in Wales that that should be standard practice, because it translates directly to the bottom line of fitness and profit for the company if people are allowed to keep fit and encouraged to stay fit.

As Peter Black said, education can play a huge part in developing people's appreciation of quality food. We should also consider the issue of parental responsibility and of how far schools can go.

You do not have to agree with the prominent Conservative speaker at our recent conference who talked about passing pies through the school railings, but we must address the principle of how we introduce children to issues of food quality and how we educate the parents as to what they should eat. This problem of people's health and wellbeing is hugely significant.

On the issue of local produce, there is a big issue about what 'local' means. There has been a huge argument with the Advertising Standards Authority about a north-Wales company that promoted produce from south Wales as local, and it was deemed not to be so. Work is needed on clarifying what local means.

My wife went into Morrisons supermarket in Welshpool last week to buy some butter. On the shelf there was butter from New Zealand, there was English and Irish butter, there was butter from Brittany, and, given that it was Morrisons, it was not surprising that there was Yorkshire butter, but there was no butter from Wales.

There is such a long way to go in terms of putting our produce on supermarket shelves.

Last week, I went to a restaurant in Montgomeryshire—Mick Bates would know it; I will not name it—and I wanted a steak. Aberdeen angus beef was advertised, but I said that I would rather have Welsh black beef.

As this was a bit of an unusual request, the owner came out for a chat and he said that it was the first time that anybody had raised the issue with him—and this is in Wales. You will be pleased to know that I have been promised that, if I go back next week, there will be Welsh black beef on the menu, but the downside is that I may have to pay a little more for it.

The climate change issue is crucial to us. We need to make certain that we are always promoting Welsh produce in Wales. We have to be careful about the position with regard to competition, because Wales also needs to export goods, but the Government needs to have a strategy for using food produced in Wales wherever possible."

"Mae'r ddadl heddiw ar fater sy'n bwysig i bob un ohonom, ac mae sawl agwedd wahanol iddi. Yn gyntaf, mae'r mater y canolbwyntiodd Peter Black arno, sef iechyd a lles cyffredinol y boblogaeth.

Yn gysylltiedig â hyn mae problem enfawr a chynyddol—os maddeuwch imi am ddefnyddio'r fath ddisgrifiad—gordewdra, sy'n un o'r problemau mwyaf sy'n wynebu ein cenedl.

Nid ydym wedi ystyried eto beth fydd goblygiadau llawn hyn i gyllideb y Cynulliad, ac i gyllidebau'n gyffredinol, os nad awn i'r afael â'r broblem hon.

Yr ail agwedd yw cefnogaeth i dyfu bwyd yn y cartref ac i'r gymuned ffermio yn ogystal â chreu swyddi yng nghefn gwlad. Yn gysylltiedig â hyn mae'r mater o sicrwydd cyflenwad bwyd i'r Deyrnas Unedig.

Y drydedd agwedd yw lliniaru effaith newid yn yr hinsawdd ar ein bywyd, sy'n fater arbennig o bwysig. Dim ond mewn amgylchiadau lle mae achos dros fewnforio cynnyrch o wlad dlawd a datblygol y dylem beidio â ffafrio cynnyrch Prydeinig o flaen popeth arall.

Mae gennyf ddiddordeb tymor hir yn lles corfforol y boblogaeth. Mae angen strategaeth arnom i gadw pobl allan o ysbytai. Yr ydym yn aml yn cael dadleuon ar ba mor gyflym y gallwn gael cleifion i ysbytai i dderbyn triniaeth, ond yr egwyddor sylfaenol wrth redeg gwasanaeth iechyd ym Mhrydain yw sut y gallwn gadw pobl allan o ysbytai.

Mae i'r ddadl honno nifer enfawr o elfennau nad ydym, eto, wedi mynd i'r afael â hwy. Yr wyf wedi dadlau droeon dros yr egwyddor o gael campfa at ddefnydd Aelodau a'r staff yn y Cynulliad.

Yn fy marn i, byddai hynny'n gosod esiampl i bob cyflogwr o bwys yng Nghymru i ddangos y dylai hynny fod yn arfer safonol, oherwydd bod cysylltiad uniongyrchol rhwng ffitrwydd ac elw i'r cwmni os yw pobl yn cael cyfle i fod yn heini ac yn cael eu hannog i barhau'n heini.

Fel y dywedodd Peter Black, gall addysg chwarae rhan bwysig iawn yng ngwerthfawrogiad pobl o fwyd o ansawdd da. Dylem hefyd ystyried y mater o gyfrifoldeb rhieni a pha mor bell y mae modd i ysgolion fynd.

Nid oes rhaid i chi gytuno â'r Ceidwadwr amlwg a siaradodd yn ein cynhadledd ddiweddar am rieni'n trosglwyddo pastai i'w plant drwy reiliau'r ysgol, ond rhaid inni edrych ar yr egwyddor o sut mae cyflwyno bwyd o ansawdd da i blant a sut mae addysgu'r rhieni o ran yr hyn y dylent fod yn ei fwyta. Mae'r broblem hon o iechyd a lles pobl yn un bwysig dros ben.

O ran cynnyrch lleol, mae dadlau mawr wedi bod ynglyn â'r hyn a olygir wrth 'lleol'. Bu dadlau mawr gyda'r Awdurdod Safonau Hysbysebu ar ôl i gwmni o'r Gogledd hyrwyddo cynnyrch o'r De fel cynnyrch lleol, a daethpwyd i'r casgliad nad oedd yn gynnyrch lleol wedi'r cyfan. Mae angen mynd ati i gael diffiniad pendant o'r hyn a olygir wrth y term lleol.

Aeth fy ngwraig i archfarchnad Morrisons yn y Trallwng yr wythnos diwethaf i brynu ymenyn. Ar y silff yr oedd ymenyn o Seland Newydd, yr oedd yno ymenyn o Loegr ac Iwerddon, yr oedd ymenyn yno o Lydaw, ac, o gofio mai Morrisons oedd y siop, nid oedd yn syndod gweld ymenyn o Swydd Efrog yno, ond nid oedd ymenyn o Gymru i'w weld yn unman. Mae llawer iawn o waith i'w wneud o ran rhoi ein cynnyrch ar silffoedd yr archfarchnadoedd.

Yr wythnos diwethaf, euthum i fwyty yn Sir Drefaldwyn—bydd Mick Bates yn gwybod amdano; nid wyf am ei enwi—ac yr oeddwn am gael stecen. Hysbysebwyd cig eidion Aberdeen angus, ond dywedais y byddai well gennyf gael stecen eidion du Cymreig.

Gan fod hwn yn gais braidd yn anarferol, daeth y perchennog ataf am sgwrs a dywedodd mai dyma'r tro cyntaf i rywun godi'r mater ag ef—a hynny yng Nghymru.

Byddwch yn falch o glywed ei fod wedi addo, os af yn ôl yno'r wythnos nesaf, y bydd cig eidion du Cymreig ar y fwydlen, ond unig ddrwg hynny yw ei bod yn debygol y bydd rhaid imi dalu ychydig yn fwy amdano.

Mae newid yn yr hinsawdd yn bwnc pwysig dros ben inni. Rhaid inni sicrhau ein bod bob amser yn hyrwyddo cynnyrch Cymreig yng Nghymru.

Rhaid inni fod yn ofalus ynglyn â'r sefyllfa o ran cystadleuaeth, oherwydd bod rhaid i Gymru allforio nwyddau hefyd, ond mae angen strategaeth ar y Llywodraeth i ddefnyddio bwyd a gynhyrchir yng Nghymru pan fo hynny'n bosibl.

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