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NFU Cymru highlights top priorities in new manifesto

NFU Cymru has today presented its manifesto to the Welsh Assembly with calls for improved BPS arrangements and TB eradication strategies.
The key asks from NFU Cymru
The key asks from NFU Cymru

NFU Cymru has put forward 11 key asks from the next Welsh Assembly - including improved BPS arrangements, a TB eradication strategy to remove the disease from badgers and an entry level agri-environment scheme open to all farmers.

 

Using a jigsaw theme ‘Putting the Pieces in Place for a Productive, Profitable, Progressive Welsh Agricultural Industry,’ union leaders today (Tuesday, March 15) presented representatives from each of the main political parties in Wales with a copy of its 28-page bilingual manifesto at the Senedd in Cardiff.

 

Priorities

 

“We want National Assembly election candidates to familiarise themselves with our priorities.

 

"The jigsaw, illustrating our key asks on a map of Wales, along with the manifesto will help get our message across,” said union president, Stephen James.

 

“Agriculture plays a vital role in the Welsh economy. Nearly 60,000 people are employed either full or part-time on holdings in Wales with agriculture’s gross output estimated at £1.5bn.

 

Food supply chain

 

“Agriculture underpins a food supply chain which is worth £6bn annually and thousands of rural businesses rely on the income generated from providing goods and services to the Welsh farming community,” he added.

 

“We have set out NFU Cymru’s vision of what we would like to see the next National Assembly and Welsh Government doing for Welsh farmers and rural communities in practical and easily implementable policies.

 

“The last few years have been turbulent for Welsh farming as the various sectors have moved in and out of profitability.

 

Upheaval

 

“We have just emerged from a round of CAP reform which has caused some considerable upheaval to the industry, while the unresolved question of the UK’s on-going membership of the EU continues to create an uncertain backdrop for agriculture.

 

“The role for the next Welsh Government is to help nurture the self-confidence that the industry needs to meet these challenges and to create an environment that will encourage investment, innovation and attract new entrants and thereby help secure the industry’s future.”

 

 


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The union’s key asks for the May 5 Welsh Assembly election are

  • A basic payment scheme that underpins food production, with timely delivery of payments and CAP simplification changes agreed in Europe swiftly implemented in Wales
  • Welsh-sourced food served in hospitals, schools and members of the armed forces in Wales
  • A TB eradication strategy that actively removes the disease from the badger population as well as from cattle
  • Rationalisation of the livestock movement regime
  • Promotion of Welsh food to new and existing markets, including removal of barriers to untapped export markets such as China and the US
  • An entry level agri-environment scheme open to all farmers
  • A rural development programme that supports investment in new technology
  • Priority for existing access arrangements in any reform of access legislation
  • Policy and decision making to be evidence and science based
  • Investment in farmer-driven R&D to support the deployment of innovative practices and technologies at farm level
  • A voluntary rather than regulatory approach
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