A former top agricultural Civil Servant in Wales is to head up the new body which among other responsibilities will replace the defunct Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) and set farmworkers’ wages in Wales.
The new Agriculture Advisory Panel for Wales aims to provide further support to the professional functioning of the agricultural industry in Wales, according to the Welsh Government’s Food and Farming Deputy Minister, Rebecca Evans.
It will be chaired by Lionel Walford, currently an assessor and quality assurance coordinator for the UK Civil Service Fast Stream.
His previous responsibilities include 21 years in the UK Civil Service, culminating in the post of Director of Agriculture in Wales. He has also held the positions of trustee of Lantra UK and Chair of Lantra Wales and was an independent member of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales from 2007 to 2012.
Mrs Evans has also appointed the panel’s two independent members, chosen via a public appointment process.
The independent member for agriculture is Steve Hughson, who was appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society in 2012, following a long career with the police service.
The independent member for education is Peter Rees, the current chairman of Lantra Wales having retired in 2014 from the position of Assistant Principal Learner and Business Development at Coleg Sir Gar.
In addition to the independent members and chairman the panel will have equal representation from the employees’ and employers’ side, meaning two representatives of UNITE, one representative of NFU Cymru and one representative of FUW.