Welsh government ahead of the game in planning for Brexit

TFA Cymru has paid tribute to the Welsh Government for its swift action in engaging with the farming community and other stakeholders to discuss what Wales should look to achieve through the UK’s negotiations for leaving the EU and what policies should be put in place for agriculture and rural areas thereafter.

TFA Cymru Chairman, Dennis Matheson said “I was delighted to take part in four recent workshops arranged by the Welsh Government involving all parts of the agricultural industry and wider interest groups. Two further meetings are also planned over the coming weeks which will seek to condense the discussions which have taken place into an agenda for action which will be presented to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM. In comparison to discussions in England, Wales appears to be streets ahead”.

“We must take full advantage of the momentous decision made by the British people to leave the EU to build a new consensus between farming, environmental, animal welfare, consumer and other interests and we congratulate the Welsh Government for facilitating discussions towards just that. The biggest risks that we face from Brexit are a lack of boldness and imagination in taking full advantage of the freedoms that Brexit can provide particularly by capitalising on the value of the Welsh brand. From discussions so far it does seem to me that the Welsh Government is very much alive to these opportunities which can only be a good thing for Welsh agriculture, the environment and our future well-being as a nation,” said Mr Matheson.

“TFA Cymru has a specific concern about ensuring upland farmers within Wales receive help and assistance in producing high quality livestock, much valued environmental management and wider ecosystem services. Wales is blessed with an extraordinary upland landscape managed by farmers for centuries. These areas have always been challenging to farm but are even more so in the context of modern markets. We must find a sustainable way to ensure that active farmers in these areas are properly rewarded both for the high-quality food they produce and the wider public benefits which society properly demands,” said Mr Matheson.

“I am also very pleased to be meeting the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs later this week to highlight some of the specific issues for the tenanted sector of agriculture,” said Mr Matheson.

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