Swansea farmer fears for future of the industry amid cost of living crisis

Farmer Andrew Stevens says financial pressures means he fears his children

A third generation farmer from Swansea says he fears for the industry's future. 

Andrew Stevens says financial pressures means he fears his children and future generations will struggle to make a living if they want to farm in the future.  

He said: "When you're going to the supermarket and seeing the price on some of the produce compared to what farmers get paid, it adds to a lot of concerns.

"It's a difficult job and it's difficult to make a living."

Andrew's taking part in an exhibition at Swansea museum called, "Stories of a changing landscape: A farmers perspective."  Credit: Documentary by Florence Browne

Andrew wants the public to be more aware of farmers' role in food production and the struggles the community can face.

That's why he's taking part in an exhibition at Swansea museum called 'Stories of a changing landscape: A farmers perspective.'

The exhibition documents and celebrates local farming heritage looking at the challenges and successes of working the land and how farming practices have changed over the years.

It also focuses on sector specific support services for those who might be struggling silently in order to strengthen, support and create a resilient rural Swansea that has increased health and wellbeing.

Andrew is a third generation farmer. Credit: Andrew Stevens family photo

Mental health farming charity, the DPJ Foundation, told ITV news a lot of people in the farming community are feeling isolated and lonely.  There are also fears over the cost of living crisis. 

Kate Miles from DPJ Foundations said: "At the moment we're seeing quite an increase in isolation and loneliness and alongside that, financial pressures are huge.

"We all know about the cost of living crisis. Farmers are feeling that too. They're trying to make ends meet but they're not sure how to make that happen and that can leave them feeling lost."

Andrew is aware of how important it is to look after his own mental health and hopes the exhibition will help break down stigmas for others.

He said: "I've always been one for talking, even if it's just to my cattle, but hopefully by people seeing other experiences of some other farmers and food producers in Swansea and Gower, it'll make them think too that there are people around them and people who want to support."

It is hoped the exhibition will create a point of connection for agricultural workers struggling with some of the issues explored, and to give the public a glimpse of what life is like for those feeding the nation.

The exhibition is running at Swansea museum until the end of January.