NFU CYMRU has outlined Welsh agriculture’s net zero ambitions during a special workshop for academics and industry stakeholders.

The event, attended by officials and board members of Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Government representatives and academics, saw the union underline Welsh farmers’ commitment to reducing emissions from food production and playing a key role in balancing ‘negative emissions’ from the land with an aspiration to strive for net zero agriculture by 2040.

The session was chaired by NFU Cymru president John Davies, who chairs the NFU net zero vision steering group, and saw contributions from NFU climate change adviser Dr Ceris Jones and Dr Michelle Cain, of Oxford University, whose core expertise is in air pollution, greenhouse gases and climate science.

Speaking after the workshop, John Davies said: “I am pleased that we were able to welcome the expertise of Dr Michelle Cain to (the) workshop.

"Dr Cain provided a brilliant presentation that underlined the latest research on accounting for methane – an important greenhouse gas.

“Farmers across Wales are united in our willingess to play our part in building a zero-carbon economy for the UK and NFU climate change adviser Dr Cerys Jones set out the findings of initial work that has been undertaken to understand the steps needed to achieve our aspiration.

"This will require a focus in key three areas - improvements in productivity; carbon capture; and renewable energy production.

"Achieving such an aspiration will clearly require a combination of policies and practise, collaboration and partnership."

Mr Davies added: “This workshop also coincided with the latest meeting of our next generation policy group who, as the next generation of young farmers in Wales, have been tasked with helping the union to drive this work forward.

"I was thrilled to be able to hear their views on this important topic and I am confident that the future is safe in the hands of this group of young farming ambassadors and their peers who care deeply about this industry and how we can further lessen its impact on the environment.

“Of course, in order for Welsh agriculture to achieve its net zero ambitions we will need government and other stakeholders to provide a portfolio of policy measures and practices that allow us to realise our climate change objectives.

"We are grateful to Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government for joining us, I very much hope that these bodies recognise the sector’s ambition to decarbonise and further reduce emissions.

"Climate change is an issue that affects us all and Welsh farmers are eager to play their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions without compromising on the sector’s food producing ability here in Wales.

"If we are given the correct framework and conditions, I know that together we can succeed.”