NFU Cymru has arranged two events for tenant farmers in Wales to consider Welsh Government Agricultural Tenancy Reform proposals.
The events, which will take place at Monmouthshire Livestock Market at 7pm on Monday 10th June and Holt Lodge Hotel, Wrexham at 7pm on Monday 17th June, will consider Welsh Government proposals on a number of specific changes to tenancy law - both the 1986 Agricultural Holdings Act and the 1995 Agricultural Tenancies Act. The proposed changes are aimed at reforming and modernising agricultural tenancy regulations to provide an enabling environment for sustainable productivity improvements and investment; facilitating structural change and supporting new entrants and the next generation; and also enabling tenant farmers to access new agricultural and land management schemes.
NFU Cymru President, John Davies said: “A thriving tenanted sector is vital for a productive, profitable and progressive farming industry in Wales. Whilst a range of routes into farming exist, access to land through Farm Business Tenancy (FBT) remains a key route for many new entrants and young farmers as well as many expanding farm businesses.
“With around a third of agricultural land in Wales rented through formal and informal agreements, this is a critical time to consider the extent to which tenancy reform proposals will enable farmers who do not own the land that they farm to access future agricultural and land management schemes as we exit the EU and move away from the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
“NFU Cymru has long been clear future support should be targeted at the active farmer – the person who takes the business risk associated with food production. Equal access for farmers who do not own the land they farm to the schemes that will replace the CAP remains a key priority for NFU Cymru and during the Brexit and our Land consultation last autumn, we expressed concerns for the future of tenant farmers and their ability to access support through the proposed future schemes.
“With the proposed phasing out of direct support by Welsh Government, the question of who – the person who owns the land or the person who farms the land (where they are different) will receive future support payments remains in question. Welsh Government also proposes that long-term interventions and contracts will be needed to deliver public goods outcomes and how these can be achieved in the context of short-term tenancies which are very common in Wales is also an issue that needs to be resolved. Whether Welsh Government tenancy reform proposals can realistically address concerns within the timeframe of the proposed transition away from the CAP also needs to be the subject of intense scrutiny.
These are important issues that need to be considered and NFU Cymru is pleased that Louise Staples, the NFU Senior Rural Surveyor will be in attendance at the meetings to take attendees through the proposals. Representatives of the NFU Cymru Legal and Rural Survey Panel firms will also be present.
Concluding, Mr Davies said: “Overall, NFU Cymru is clear future policy must recognise that tenant farming delivers the same economic, environmental, social and cultural outcomes for society that farming on owner-occupier holding and other land tenure does. The position of this vitally important sector must not be disadvantaged through tenancy reform or changes to agricultural policy moving forward. These events are vitally important for all tenant farmers across Wales and a warm welcome is extended to all.”
The events will take place as follows:
Monday 10th June 2019
Monmouthshire Livestock Market, Abergavenny Road, Raglan NP15 2BH
Monday 17th June 2019
Holt Lodge Hotel, Holt, Wrexham, LL13 9SW
Please contact NFU Cymru on (01982) 554200 to reserve your place.