Welsh Government needs to pay more heed to tenant farmers

The Tenant Farmers Association in Wales, TFA Cymru, has called on the Welsh Government to ensure it is giving priority to issues affecting tenant farmers in Wales.

Following the recent Supreme Court case focusing on regulation of agricultural wages, it has now been firmly established that the Government of Wales Act 2006 gives jurisdiction for agricultural tenancies in Wales to the Welsh Government.

Speaking just prior to the Welsh Winter Fair, TFA Cymru Chairman, Dennis Matheson said “With rights come responsibilities. It is one thing for the Welsh Government to have the authority over the legislation covering agricultural tenancies but it must keep at least up to speed with what is happening in terms of the development of legislation in England to ensure that tenant farmers in Wales are not operating within a less advantageous set of legal criteria.”

“In England we have seen new regulations updating matters relating to end of tenancy compensation and repair, maintenance and insurance of fixed equipment. To date, the Welsh Government has not produced new regulations for Wales due to a lack of available resources,” said Mr Matheson.

“It is vital that the Welsh Government finds sufficient resources to ensure the proper operation of the legal framework for agricultural tenancies within Wales. It is not acceptable that we farm tenants in Wales are operating without the same level of cover as our counterparts in England,” said Mr Matheson.

“With the imminent launch of a new industry/Government partnership group for agriculture in Wales it would be opportune time for the Welsh Government to reaffirm its commitment to agricultural tenancies within Wales. I have been pleased to show the deputy Minister, Rebecca Evans around my tenanted holding and I believe that she was genuinely interested in the unique issues faced by the tenanted sector but it is now time to ensure that we during this rhetoric into reality,” said Mr Matheson.

“The TFA has been campaigning for longer Farm Business Tenancies throughout this year and this could be an important piece of work for the Partnership Group to consider early in its life. TFA Cymru stands ready to work with the Welsh Government on this and other matters,” said Mr Matheson.

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