With Samuel Kurtz MS also serving as the Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, the meeting was a good opportunity to discuss a myriad of agricultural issues.
Following the meeting, Haydn Evans said:
“It’s been great to have Samuel out on our farm, we’ve been able to cover a range of issues which are of huge significance to Welsh agriculture and our rural communities.
“The first issue we discussed was the Agriculture (Wales) Bill which we are expecting the Welsh Government to introduce to the Senedd before the end of this calendar year. It’s a piece of legislation which will, in all probability, define Welsh agriculture for a generation to come, something which we therefore must get right. Key to getting things right will be ensuring that productive agriculture is rewarded and supported, and that support reaches active farmers. I know that the union will be looking to work closely with Samuel Kurtz MS when the Bill begins its journey through the Senedd later this year.”
Also joining the meeting was NFU Cymru Deputy President, Abi Reader who raised several issues with Samuel Kurtz MS, including the devastating humanitarian situation in Ukraine. The discussion then covered the impact the war was having on global supply chains and the ability of farmers to produce food as their input costs continue to spiral.
Abi Reader commented: “As a sector, agriculture is currently experiencing spiralling input costs. This is impacting on confidence, and my fear is that this will almost certainly impact on productivity. I very much want to see Wales remain a global leader when it comes to producing climate-friendly food, and I don’t want to see our production levels dropping. If we are to maintain and build on our productivity, then farmers need to have confidence in the future viability of their industry.”
Despite some of the obvious challenges facing the sector both Samuel Kurtz MS and Abi Reader spoke in very positive terms about the enthusiasm of young people looking to make a career in farming, whether as successors in a current farming business or those coming into the industry as new entrants.
Abi Reader said:
“I am really grateful to Samuel Kurtz MS for his time and also to Haydn and family for hosting us. Although it’s almost a year since Samuel Kurtz MS was elected to the Senedd, the disruption caused by Covid has made meetings like this difficult and so it is great for me to be able to meet with him face to face today. I very much look forward to working closely with Samuel Kurtz MS over the coming weeks, months, and years.”