The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has today welcomed the appointment of Mrs Lesley Griffiths as the new Environment and Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary.
She takes on her new role having been Assembly Member for Wrexham since 2007 and in the last Welsh Government was Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty.
“Agriculture and rural affairs are key to our economy, and central to addressing and dealing with the major challenges of our generation.
“The FUW looks forward to working closely with the new Government in order to ensure priorities are met for rural Wales and Wales as a whole and we welcome the fact that our call for the appointment of a full cabinet member with responsibility for rural affairs has been heeded ,” said FUW President Glyn Roberts.
“With issues such as climate change and water management dominating agendas such as those listed in the Well-being of Future Generations Act, we are pleased to see Mrs Griffiths has been appointed to fight for the interests of our rural communities – communities for which agriculture is a cornerstone,” he added.
Mr Roberts said the previous call tied in with the FUW’s vision of a Rural Powerhouse for Wales which recognises the central role agriculture and rural areas must play in addressing the challenges of the future, while ensuring the focus does not just fall on the M4 and A55 corridors.
“I have written to Mrs Griffiths to congratulate her on her appointment and have asked for an early meeting in order to discuss those issues which are of concern to farmers and have an impact on all aspects of her portfolio,” he added.
Under the previous Welsh administration the agricultural portfolio was moved between ministers and deputy ministers a number of times following Welsh cabinet reshuffles.
“We have outlined our key concerns for the agricultural industry in our 2016 election manifesto and hope to see the new Environment and Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary deal with critical issues such as bovine TB and Nitrate Vulnerable Zones as a matter of urgency,” added Mr Roberts.