The Tenant Farmers Association in Wales (TFA Cymru) has welcomed the appointment of Lesley Griffiths AM as the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs.
TFA Cymru Chairman Dennis Matheson said “Lesley Griffiths has a huge portfolio but crucially for us it includes responsibility for agriculture. Rebecca Evans did a sterling job in her Ministerial capacity and we wish her well in her new role, but it is great news that we have agriculture back around the Cabinet table in Wales. Agriculture is such an important industry in Wales and it deserves its place within Cabinet”.
“There will be a lot on the new Cabinet Secretary’s desk, but there are a number of key issues to which we hope she will give early attention and which are vital to pushing forward the prosperity and resilience of the Welsh agricultural industry. She has come into her role at a crucial time for Welsh agriculture when commodity prices and incomes are low, volatility in markets is a real concern and the need to create a stronger platform for resilience is long overdue,” said Mr Matheson.
Crucial to her success in her new role will be an ability to juggle the pressing issues and needs of today with the necessity of thinking strategically about the future direction for Welsh agriculture.
“There are many immediate issues that the Cabinet Secretary must address including the need for longer term Farm Business Tenancies to enable people to establish, maintain and grow successful farm businesses. She must also address the protection and development of County Council Smallholding estates which are increasingly under threat in Wales. Tackling the increasing problem of bovine TB and other endemic livestock diseases which cripple the businesses of so many farmers within Wales and keeping red tape and bureaucracy to a minimum are also important issues,” said Mr Matheson.
“On the wider, more strategic issues we hope that the Cabinet Secretary will engage positively with the recently established Partnership Group for Welsh Agriculture chaired by Kevin Roberts and upon which TFA Cymru is represented. With representatives from across the agricultural industry along with the Welsh Government, the Partnership Group has the potential for being a significant force for good both for Welsh Agriculture and the wider well-being of the population within Wales,” said Mr Matheson.
“I have written to Lesley Griffiths to welcome her to her new post and to invite her to meet with TFA Cymru at her earliest convenience,” said Mr Matheson.