The Welsh Conservatives have called on Ministers in Cardiff to put food security ‘at the heart’ of policy making.
The demand came shortly after Northern Ireland became the first UK nation to recognise the importance of food security in its post-Brexit policy development.
Civil servants at the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) published a proposed policy framework last week in the absence of a functioning Government at Stormont.
Recent figures released by Defra which show the UK’s self-sufficiency is stagnating have also shone a spotlight on the issue.
Welsh Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary Andrew RT Davies said: “Food security is too important an issue to be side-lined and the steady decline in the production of our own food is a grave concern.
“The failure to secure our long-term food security will cost future generations dearly and that is why food self-sufficiency should be prioritised and put at the heart of Welsh Labour Government policy making.
“With climate change and more extreme weather conditions to become more frequent across Wales, it is imperative we plan and invest in the production of our food if we want to avoid a deserted countryside and empty shopping shelves.
“Our farmers produce world-class food, but the challenges down the line are there for all to see. Warm words are no longer enough and the Welsh Government must make this a priority.”
He described their exclusion as ‘regrettable and glaring’ in light of the very difficult weather conditions farmers are currently experiencing.
“As ever, the Welsh Government is asleep at the wheel and this aspect must be immediately addressed”, he added.
To read Mr Davies’ Brexit hub piece in full, click HERE.