Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is reminding the public of the importance of livestock ahead of Earth Day on April 22.

The HCC highlights the essential role livestock farming plays in caring for the environment, emphasising that production systems differ significantly worldwide.

Rachael Madeley-Davies, HCC’s head of sustainability and future policy said: "Welsh livestock farmers know that if you look after the environment, the environment will look after you."

She continued: "For centuries, they have played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining beautifully rural landscapes that we know and love.

"Their sustainable management has helped to establish a rural environment abundant in wildlife and visitor-friendly due to a network of pathways maintained by farmers."

This message comes at a time when agriculture's impact on climate change is under intense debate.

HCC points out the considerable variations in different farming systems’ environmental impact worldwide, noting that Wales is particularly suited for rearing cattle and sheep.

Ms Madeley-Davies added: "The Welsh Way of farming has a very different story to tell compared with some of the intensive and industrial systems found in other parts of the world.

"With high standards of animal husbandry and grassland management, our family-run farms have helped preserve our unique landscape for generations and will continue to do so for generations to come."

Most of Welsh farmland (80 per cent) is not suitable for growing crops, making cattle and sheep rearing the most efficient use of marginal land for food production.

Unlike other regions where water resources are drained, or vast amounts of land are used for feed, Welsh sheep and cattle are reared predominantly on grass and rainwater.

Farmers in Wales manage grasslands that capture carbon from the atmosphere, thereby contributing positively to climate change mitigation.

This uses a blend of traditional practices and new innovations.

For example, Emily Jones and her parents use expertise inherited over generations to produce Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef at their centuries-old Garnwen Farm, located about seven miles from Tregaron and 17 miles from Aberystwyth.

Discussing their farming system, Emily said: "We make every effort to go back to the old times – to older farming traditions.

"We’re also looking ahead and doing our bit to help the environment, such as increasing the amount of carbon capture and farming in harmony with nature."

She explained that the farm is introducing herbal leys, planting clover, chicory, and plantain, which have natural uses and will help improve soil health and productivity, reducing their carbon emissions.

Emily concluded by saying: "This has been a relatively new thing for us here at Garnwen, but we are aware of the impact of climate change and determined to be part of the solution in producing quality food in the most environmentally friendly way possible."