The Farmers’ Union of Wales has described meetings with newly appointed Welsh Government minister for natural resources and food Edwina Hart and deputy minister for agriculture and fisheries Rebecca Evans as extremely positive and productive.
Speaking after the meeting last Friday (June 11) FUW president Emyr Jones said: “At the top of the FUW’s agenda was the issue of communication, both with the industry as a whole and those who are elected to represent it.”
Mr Jones acknowledged that the relationship between the previous minister and the farming industry had been difficult over recent years, and that the chance to start afresh was therefore welcome.
“There was mutual agreement that we need to work together for the good of the industry, whilst respecting our different roles and those differences of opinion which do exist.
“However, when it comes to the majority of issues I believe we share the same overarching views, and working together has been shown to have major benefits over the past two years, not least in terms of developing the RPW Online system.”
Issues covered during the meeting included concerns over any long term plans to split the environmental brief away from agriculture, Wales’ 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan, and the question of implementing an Area of Natural Constraint scheme.
“We also discussed our mutual enthusiasm for supporting young entrants, but emphasised the importance of ensuring any training provided through the RDP is meaningful and represents value for money.
“We will be meeting both the minister and deputy minister again over the coming weeks, and look forward to a positive relationship which is underpinned by mutual respect,” added Mr Jones.