What is happening in Wales – Policy for agriculture

The Welsh Agricultural Minister, Lesley Griffiths announced in 2018 that the BPS would remain unchanged until 2020, however with the delays of Brexit proceedings last year the Minister decided that the scheme would continue for another year until 2021 which now provides a further 12 months of some certainty to Welsh farmers.

Therefore, the earliest a new transitional system will come into place in Wales will be 2022.

The consultation brought out last year set out the governments vision of how they see agricultural support in Wales after Brexit.

The main proposals were:

  • 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 as a ‘top-up’. 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”.

There are still lots of unknowns with a new scheme in Wales however we will be informing our clients who own and occupy land in Wales as soon as this becomes available.

Our BPS and Support Payments team are well versed in Welsh and English policy changes and can be contacted on 01829 773000.