LAST week will undoubtedly be remembered as an extraordinary one.

Not many would have foreseen both farming unions in Wales coming together, to fight for the survival of agriculture in Wales and make a united stand against the current Welsh Government proposals for the future of our industry.

The symbolism of such a move can’t be ignored.

What it very clearly does is highlight the importance of getting it right.

Getting it right for our farmers who produce food for the nation, getting it right for those second and third sector businesses who rely on a thriving agricultural industry, getting it right for our local, rural communities, the economy and future generations.

Key messages delivered in Cardiff will have reminded us all that stability for the sector must be a priority and at the centre of everything, especially as our food and farming industry already faces unprecedented challenges and uncertainty as a result of issues which are outside Welsh Government control.

It is therefore absolutely paramount that significant changes should only be considered once we have a clearer understanding of future trading relationship with our main trading partners.

Therefore - transitions to future policies should only begin following thorough investigation of the impacts on every business, sector and region of Wales, and there has to be a full assessment of the Welsh Government’s ability to deliver any plans.

Furthermore, we are all very clear that Wales’ future rural policies must keep food producing families on the land.

The family farm is the backbone of our rural and wider communities, producing top quality, safe and affordable food for the consumer and these families deliver for our economy, for our environment, for our landscape, for our language and culture, and should be at the centre of Welsh Government policies.

As such, the family farms which take the financial risks associated with food production alongside all forms of work on the land, have to be placed at the centre of any future policy through a strengthened active farmer rule here in Wales.


FUW president