Welsh Government, Farmers to Work in Partnership06 November 2012
WALES - Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Alun Davies, has told farmers that he wants to work in partnership with them to ensure a strong, confident, profitable and sustainable future for the industry, announces NFU Cymru.
Speaking at NFU Cymru’s annual conference on ‘Change and Opportunity’, the Deputy Minister said that working in partnership with the industry to build on its current successes was key to ensuring a strong industry is left behind for future generations.
Mr Davies said: “Change and opportunity for me reflects perfectly the position the industry is in now and will be in for the next few years.
“There are massive changes ahead and it is important that the industry, working with the support of the Welsh Government and key stakeholders such as NFU Cymru, prepares properly to face the changes and grasp the opportunities that such a period of huge change will bring.”
Mr Davies discussed the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the Welsh Government’s important role fighting for a good deal for Welsh farmers in Europe. “Currently, CAP is, as I have already made clear, the number one issue and priority for us all and will dominate proceeding for the next 18 months,” he said.
“I am pressing for a ten year transition to the new area based payments to ensure Welsh farmers are given enough time to make changes. By the beginning of next year I will set out the main elements of the schemes that we will aim to deploy in Wales. I believe that on CAP, as with so many other issues, the Welsh Government is pretty much on the same page as farmers in Wales and their representative bodies.”
In response, NFU Cymru President Ed Bailey thanked Mr Davies for his keynote address and reiterated farmers concerns that elements of the CAP reform, particularly ‘greening’, would have an adverse effect on rural livelihoods.
Mr Bailey said: “Many of our members remain sceptical of some of the main CAP reform proposals. Setting aside productive land for environmental reasons does not sit well on farmers’ shoulders because it means taking land out of food production at a time when the number of mouths to feed is increasing. We welcome Mr Davies’ comments on partnership and also look forward to Gareth Williams returning to carry out an independent review of progress towards implementation of the Working Smarter report.”
ThePigSite News Desk