Welsh Government funding announcement welcomed

Minister, Lesley Griffiths AM_70626

NFU Cymru has today warmly welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths MS, of her intention to continue with the BPS until 2023, subject to receiving funding under the UK Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review. The Minister also confirmed that current Glastir contracts will be extended until December 2023.

Use the links to jump to the relevant areas:
- Forward plan for the next four years
Breakdown of what's been announced
- NFU Cymru response

NFU Cymru President, John Davies_69521

Following the announcement, NFU Cymru President John Davies said:

“I very much welcome this statement from the Minister; in a period of great uncertainty, it is excellent news that our Minister has used two key interventions to provide stability and continuity to Welsh farming at a time of significant upheaval."

This statement follows on from the Minister’s response to a question in the Senedd on 23rd June where she stated that it was her intention to maintain the BPS 2022 at current funding levels, provided that Welsh Government receives the same funding from the UK Government for agriculture.

John Davies added: “We now look to the UK Government, through the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review, to provide the funding commitments required to ensure that our Minister can implement her policy intention to maintain the BPS at current funding levels for the next two years.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic I have been immensely proud of the way the industry has continued to secure the supply of safe, high quality affordable food for all in society. The stability that the BPS provides has been, and continues to be, crucial in underpinning high quality food production in Wales.

“I am pleased that by setting out her intention to maintain both the BPS and Glastir Contract agreements for the next two years, the Minister has given Welsh Government and policy makers the breathing space to bring forward a new Agriculture Bill for Wales, and time to properly assess and model future support policies for Wales. It is absolutely vital that we get this right, as the bill and the policies that are subsequently developed will define Welsh agriculture for a generation to come.

“These policies need to support the industry to deliver our ambition to produce the most climate friendly food in the world, against a backdrop of an environment where our nature is thriving. Those policies must also ensure that Welsh farming families continue to be at the heart of thriving rural communities.”

What's been announced:

  • Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced the Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic contracts are being extended until December 2023.
  • The Minister also says it is the intention for the Basic Payment Scheme to continue until 2023, subject to the UK Government’s comprehensive spending review.
  • Over 1.3m hectares of Welsh agricultural land come under a Glastir contract and the continuation of the scheme ensures priority sites and areas in Wales are managed effectively to achieve positive environmental outcomes. All existing eligible contract holders will be offered an extension via their RPW on-line accounts.
  • The Minister also announced a further £7m to extend the Farming Connect programme through to March 2023.

Read the full Welsh Government statement here

A look ahead to the next four years and what to expect:

Following consultation on the Agriculture (Wales) White Paper earlier this year which set out Welsh Government’s ambition to reform the way in which agriculture is supported in future, Welsh Government set out its response and forward plan on 21st September 2021. A summary of the forward plan is provided below. Further information is available on the Welsh Government website.

TimelineAction
2022
  • BPS continues - subject to sufficient funding being provided by UK Government
  • Glastir continues - contract holders offered extensions to December 2023
  • Introduction of the Agriculture (Wales) Bill during the first year of the Senedd. A Regulatory Impact Assessment will accompany the Bill
  • A draft of the Sustainable Farming Scheme will be published providing detail on scheme structure and specific actions
  • Next phase of co-design will commence during the summer of 2022
  • Welsh Government to launch a range of interventions to prepare farmers for entry to the Sustainable Farming Scheme and pilot new processes
  • New scheme to fund woodland creation.
2023
  • BPS continues - subject to sufficient funding being provided by UK Government
  • Glastir continues to end December 2023
  • Welsh Government will launch final consultation on the Sustainable Farming Scheme and transitional plans to move from the Basic Payment Scheme
2024
  • Welsh Government to launch outreach programme for the Sustainable Farming Scheme
  • Farm Sustainability Reviews commence to start the process of entering farmers into the new Sustainable Farming Scheme
2025
  • Sustainable Farming Scheme opens in January 2025 with a multi-year transition period to enable farmers who receive BPS to transfer into the Sustainable Farming Scheme

Last edited: 10:33 on 21 September 2021

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