The Welsh Government is to carry out a consultation on changes to farm tenancy legislation, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has confirmed.
Ms Griffiths’ commitment to review the law on tenancies came shortly after Defra promised to hold a similar consultation in 2019.
Speaking during a special episode of Farmers Guardian’s Ploughing Through Brexit podcast which looked at issues in the devolved nations, the Minister said: “We will be consulting concurrently with Defra on changes to tenancy legislation.
“My officials are working with Defra on the timing of the consultation, and a concurrent consultation would enable us to be very clear on which comments relate to Wales and which comments relate to England.”
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George Dunn, chief executive of the Tenant Farmers’ Association (TFA), welcomed the commitment.
He said: “We are delighted the Welsh Government has agreed to open a consultation on farm tenancy reform concurrently with Defra.
“This must not only look at the technicalities of agricultural tenancy legislation, but how to ensure tenants will be treated fairly as new policies are rolled out in Wales.
“We are certain the Welsh Government wants to find solutions to these issues and we are working positively with Ministers and officials to that end.”
Both TFA Cymru and NFU Cymru have called for new ‘public money for public goods’ schemes to be targeted at active farmers to ensure tenants are not excluded.
NFU Cymru president John Davies, who was also a guest on the podcast, said: “It is really important the support goes to the active farmer, and how we define that is the person who is taking the business risk.
“We met thousands of members throughout Wales and this kept cropping up time and time again.
“It is a really complex area in terms of the legislation and the Agricultural Holdings Act, but there are some good ways of blending the environment and productivity.
“We have had very good interaction [with Welsh Government on this] and I am quite pleased with how we are seeing things go.”