A specially convened meeting of NFU Cymru’s governing body has decided that, on the basis of the current available evidence, the interests of Welsh agriculture are best served by the UK remaining within the European Union.
The policy decision was taken by the union’s council in conjunction with its commodity boards and next generation policy group.
It does, however, respect that voting on such an important issue is an emotive and deeply personal matter and for each member to vote how they see fit.
NFU Cymru president, Stephen James, said the union had spent the past few months helping to inform members of the issues at stake in the referendum.
“Our EU report, launched last autumn, examines our current relationship with the EU and has proved extremely popular, helping to stimulate debate and providing key information to help make an informed decision.
“Over recent weeks we have held a series of meetings in every county of Wales and through this comprehensive process have been able to engage with a significant proportion of the membership covering both sides of the debate,” added Mr James.
“We have purposely stuck to agriculture and steered clear of many of the other elements of the debate that we do not believe directly impact on Welsh farmers.
“We very much recognise that the EU is far from perfect. The new CAP has added much complexity and bureaucracy and the individual movement recording of sheep are just two areas that frustrate us about the EU and this needs to change.
“However, in our opinion, over-regulation is a fault of Government at all levels and this is something that must be tackled in Cardiff Bay, Westminster and Brussels.
“There is a lack of any clarity or certainty of what Brexit would mean for Welsh agriculture.
"For example, we have no international trade agreements in place, no commitment from our Government to future financial support and no agreement that regulations would be scrapped or reduced if we were to leave the EU.
“Our future depends on our ability to trade and to have ready access to the widest possible range of markets. Our present situation highlights the importance of having the necessary support mechanisms to deal with periods of extreme volatility.
“It is for these two key reasons that following extensive discussion and consultation, the NFU Cymru Council has reached the conclusion that Welsh agriculture is best served by remaining within the EU.”