Welsh Government Second Consultation – ‘Sustainable Farming and our Land’

The Welsh Government have recently brought out a second consultation following last year’s ‘Brexit and our land’ consultation. This consultation is the second round following the 12,000 odd responses the first consultation received. The consultation sets out the governments vision of how they see agricultural support in Wales after Brexit.

The main proposals are:

  • A single, integrated scheme focused on environmental outcomes, agricultural business productivity and resilience called the “Sustainable Farming Scheme”.
  • The majority of the financial support will be for environmental outcomes but with elements of business support as well.
  • It will provide an annual income to reward farmers for delivering targeted outcomes.

To initially enter the scheme, it is proposed that farmers must first submit an EoI (Expression of Interest), complete a Farm Sustainability Review and also produce a Farm Sustainability Plan. These steps would include submitting items such as a business plan, welfare plan, nutrient plan, farm details and size, staff etc.

The financial payment will be based on mandatory actions and also optional actions. The consultation does not however give any indication of payment rates only that the Welsh Government will pay “above and beyond income foregone or costs incurred”.

It is proposed that the transition period will last from 2021 to 2027, after which time all farmers will be entered into the new Sustainable Farming Scheme. The consultation asks whether the transition from old to new should be through a gradual phasing period, enrolment scheme or a staged enrolment.

Hywel Davies of Rostons said “It is good to see Welsh Government taking on board the responses from the first consultation and giving us more detail of what sort of scheme they would like to see post Brexit. It does however fall short of providing the finer details such as payment rates that would re-assure farmers and inform them of the likely financial support they could achieve post BPS”.

The response date for the consultation is the 30th October 2019.