NFU Cymru has presented evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee as part of an inquiry session examining Agriculture in Wales post-Brexit.
The call for evidence was launched at Dolgellau Farmers’ Mart on Monday 20th March, with NFU Cymru President Stephen James and Deputy Director and Head of Policy, Dylan Morgan, providing evidence at a subsequent session at Gwynedd Council Chambers.
The hearing provided NFU Cymru with the opportunity to discuss a number of important topics, including what a future domestic agricultural policy should look like, regulation, the importance of trade to the Welsh food and drink industry as well as agriculture’s general contribution to Wales.
Speaking after giving evidence at the meeting NFU Cymru President Stephen James said: “We’re grateful to the Welsh Affairs Committee for providing us with the opportunity to present evidence at this critical juncture for agriculture in Wales. Over the last few months, the Union has used opportunities like today to provide a strong voice on behalf of its members and leave decision makers in no doubt as to the integral role that farming plays here in Wales.
“Agriculture’s contribution to the economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of Wales is unrivalled and should not be underestimated. While Brexit presents significant challenges, it also presents opportunities, and we need to ensure we take this opportunity to craft and develop an agricultural policy framework that supports productive, progressive and profitable farming and delivers jobs, growth and investment to Wales.
“Getting the right Brexit trade deal and future agricultural policy are going to be vital components if the industry is to flourish post-Brexit – we don’t want to see agriculture used as a bargaining chip. A hard Brexit, which would see us move to World Trade Organisation default tariffs, would be incredibly damaging to Welsh agriculture and we don’t want to see products produced to lower standards coming in to the UK and undermining our high standards of production.
“I urge all of the committee members in attendance at today’s meeting to take on board all of the points we have raised and help ensure that as negotiations continue all politicians recognise the vital role that agriculture plays in Wales and allows the industry to thrive in a post-Brexit world.”