In just under a month, the Welsh Government’s consultation on future farm support, Sustainable Farming and our Land, will close. Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths outlines why it is so important to have your say.
In July, ahead of the Royal Welsh Show, I published our proposals to support farmers after we leave the European Union.
Brexit presents us with an opportunity to design a made in Wales support system – one which will also help us tackle some of the most pressing issues today, such as climate change, ensuring sustainable food production and reversing the decline in biodiversity.
The new Sustainable Farming Scheme we are proposing will pay farmers for environmental outcomes not rewarded by the market, like actions to improve air quality or reduce carbon emissions.
These outcomes can be delivered alongside the sustainable production of safe, high-quality food.
The multi-year payment will provide farmers with a stable income stream, while the outcomes delivered will not only benefit the farm business, but all the people of Wales.
The summer season is a busy period, so when I launched the proposals I was determined to have a long, 16-week, consultation to provide farmers with enough time to respond.
There is now less than a month left before the deadline expires and I cannot stress enough how important it is to take the time out to share your views with us.
We’ve already received nearly 2,000 responses, but we want to hear from as many people as possible.
It is often human nature to think there’s plenty of time left to get things done, and farmers are of course extremely busy running their businesses and preparing for Brexit.
But it is so important to take the time to get involved and have your say.
Last year’s consultation, Brexit and our Land, was genuine and we adapted our proposals in light of the responses we received.
This consultation is no different. The responses we receive will help shape how we support farmers after Brexit.
We cannot do this alone, and need the input of farmers so we can ensure any future scheme works on the ground.
I am aware of calls to suspend the consultation, but I genuinely believe we can’t afford to delay the development of future support.
We cannot just sit back and let Brexit happen to us and not prepare for the future.
Focusing attention on progressing the consultation puts us in the strongest position to develop future support.
Please get involved and let us know your thoughts on our proposals in Sustainable Farming and our Land.
By working together, we can ensure Welsh agriculture has a sustainable and thriving future.
To respond to the consultation, click HERE.
The Minister can be found tweeting at @wgmin_rural