NFU Cymru president John Davies has called on the Welsh Government to pause and review its work on post-Brexit policy as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Mr Davies said the crisis had shown the importance of domestic food security and production, which were not considered in the new policy plans.
The plea came after the Welsh Government published a summary of responses to its flagship post-Brexit consultation, Sustainable Farming and Our Land, which closed on October 30, 2019.
According to the document, the strongest opposition to the plans came from respondents who believed Welsh Government was not giving ‘due attention or support to ensuring food security by subsidising food production’.
Mr Davies said: “The importance of domestic food production and food security have come to the fore in recent weeks.
“NFU Cymru would argue that now, more than ever, we need to reflect on the resilience of the nation’s food supply systems and on our food security.
“In Wales, this should mean the Welsh Government pause and review their work on Sustainable Farming and Our Land.”
Pressure is now building on Governments in both Cardiff and Westminster to put a stronger emphasis on food security in the wake of the pandemic.
This month, the Welsh Parliament’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee pushed for stronger food security provisions in the UK Agriculture Bill.
It recommended that the Government report on the UK’s food security either annually or biannually, as opposed to once every five years, and proposed an amendment to the Bill which would require both the UK and Welsh Governments to publish a response to these regular audits, and take appropriate action as a result of the findings.
Mr Davies said: “There is an opportunity, through a review and resetting of the policy agenda in Wales, to design and implement a comprehensive food and farming policy for Wales which can include the sentiments and recommendations made by the committee and have the support of the farming industry in Wales.”