The Welsh agricultural sector has been waiting anxiously since last year for the announcement of the results of the ‘Brexit and our Land’ consultation paper. It has been recently announced by Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Agricultural Secretary, that the two elements of post Brexit financial support put forward in the consultation paper will now be merged into one scheme.
It is proposed that farmers, after entering into contracts with the Welsh Government, will receive annual payments so long as they meet certain environmental targets. The scheme will also have a ‘Business Development’ aspect which will see further payments to improve profitability and efficiency.
A second consultation on this proposal is due to be announced before the Royal Welsh Show in late July. Lesley Griffiths commented “The changes announced acknowledges that for environmental sustainability to be achieved, farming must be sustainable as well”.
With this said, no real detail has been put forward and until this second consultation has been completed and various stakeholder groups formed and consulted, it is unlikely that any real progress or detail of what we can expect in the future will be made.
The minister has re-confirmed that any future scheme needs to be aimed at supporting active farmers and managers as oppose to merely paying landowners to own land.