Welsh Government sets out proposals to support farmers post Brexit

Welsh Government sets out proposals to support farmers post Brexit

The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs for Wales, Lesley Griffiths, has outlined her proposals to support Welsh farmers post-Brexit after receiving the views of industry bodies, farmers and the public.

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths.

A consultation commissioned by the Welsh Government sought the views on its proposals for a new Sustainable Farming Scheme for Wales, a scheme which aims to restore biodiversity in Welsh farming while taking steps to protect the environment.

The consultation received over 3,000 responses, including one from the National Farmers Union (NFU) which stated that the proposals should seek to maintain stability and continuity, including in the levels and organisation of financial support available to farmers and other land managers.

Following the consultation, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs for Wales, Lesley Griffiths published a summary of the responses and detailed the revised proposals for the scheme.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important for everyone we are clear about our next steps. I continue to propose to provide financial support to farmers who manage their land in a way which enables the sustainable production of quality Welsh food.”

Griffiths said: “Some respondents focussed on the need to ensure the continued competitiveness of the farming sector in Wales, with some arguing the focus on environmental outcomes would harm the competitiveness and financial sustainability of Welsh farming.

“Our proposals are intended to provide an important income stream for farmers who participate in the Scheme, recognising the important work they do in delivering environmental outcomes and reward them for it.

“In addition, we are seeking to reinforce the long-term competitiveness of the sector through enhanced business advice and support. Work is also being undertaken to understand the financial impacts on the sector of the proposed Scheme.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important for everyone we are clear about our next steps. I continue to propose to provide financial support to farmers who manage their land in a way which enables the sustainable production of quality Welsh food, tackles the climate emergency, reverses the loss of biodiversity, ensures high standards of animal health and welfare and protects our natural resources.

“I originally proposed, and then launched, a co-design exercise with the aim of involving as many farmers as possible in helping to shape the detail of the proposals. This co-design exercise has had to be adapted in light of Covid-19 control measures.

“As the situation with Covid-19 and EU transition evolves, I will continue to support Welsh farmers and ensure our proposals provide a sustainable approach which will deliver long term resilience for the industry.”

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