The Celebration of Welsh Food & Farming event in Cardiff Bay saw NFU Cymru launch its Shaping Welsh Farming’s Future: NFU Cymru’s Policy Priorities For Welsh Government’s Agriculture (Wales) Bill document with MSs at the Senedd.
The Senedd showpiece, kindly sponsored by Lesley Griffiths MS, was one of a number of events NFU Cymru has co-ordinated as part of the first ever Celebration of Welsh Food & Farming Week.
The Shaping Welsh Farming’s Future report provides a summary of NFU Cymru’s key asks of Welsh Government. These priorities are vital to ensure Welsh farming thrives and continues to deliver high quality, affordable food and wider economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits for all the people of Wales, all whilst meeting the sector’s ambition for net zero agriculture by 2040.
The event also saw NFU Cymru supply MSs with a new Welsh wool wheatsheaf lapel badge, a memento for MSs to wear to show their support for Welsh agriculture, whether that be in the Senedd chamber or in their constituencies, throughout the Celebration of Welsh Food & Farming Week.
Bringing a flavour of Welsh Food and Farming to the Senedd
As well as the policy and political aspect to the event, NFU Cymru brought a flavour of Welsh food and farming to the Senedd with a delicious buffet of Welsh produce. Meanwhile, fibreglass model farm animals were dotted around the Senedd building to provide a rural feel to the Welsh Parliament.
The celebratory event was kicked off with a Welsh language video about the importance of agriculture, titled ‘Ffermio’, produced by Ysgol y Bannau pupil Lexi Phillips, 10, from Brecon.
“Access to safe, high quality, affordable food is the most basic fundamental right for all people in society and a key objective of the bill must be to underpin the production of a stable supply of safe, high quality, affordable food."
Aled Jones, NFU Cymru President
Speaking after the Celebration of Welsh Food & Farming event in the Senedd, NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “Engaging with our Wales elected representatives is an important part of the union’s strategy for Celebration of Welsh Food & Farming Week, so it’s great that we were able to welcome so many MSs to this afternoon’s reception.
“2022 is a seminal year for Welsh food and farming with our Minister introducing the Welsh Government’s Agriculture (Wales) Bill to the Senedd, a bill that will define Welsh farming for a generation to come. The bill presents us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to design, build and implement a comprehensive ‘farm to fork’ food and farming policy, conceived, born and bred in Wales. Each one of our MSs has a vital role to play in scrutinising, seeking to ensure that the bill can deliver for Wales.
Our key asks
“The new NFU Cymru policy document we have launched today provides a summary of our key asks of the Agriculture (Wales) Bill. I very much hope that the Minister and her team will consider these as they continue to work on the detail of the bill.
“Access to safe, high quality, affordable food is the most basic fundamental right for all people in society and a key objective of the bill must be to underpin the production of a stable supply of safe, high quality, affordable food. The bill must also include mechanisms to ensure levels of domestic food production are assessed, maintained and enhanced alongside climate, biodiversity and broader environmental objectives.
“As we transition to a new scheme, we look to a framework that continues to provide stability and that targets support at the active farmer; the farming family taking the risk associated with food production and environmental management. This framework should deliver a comprehensive suite of outcomes that includes food security, incentivises on farm productivity and safeguards our rural communities and the Welsh language alongside a range of environmental outcomes.
“We have an ambition to sustainably grow our industry in Wales, increasing the contribution that Welsh food and farming makes to the economy of Wales, whilst meeting our aspiration to reach 2040 net zero against a backdrop where our nature thrives. Wales can be a world leader in the production of climate and nature friendly food.
“Welsh agriculture makes an unparalleled contribution to our rural communities, economy, landscape, as well as to our national identity, our language our and culture. More than ever, in these difficult times, the continued supply of safe, high-quality, affordable food has to be a strategic priority for the nation.”