NFU Cymru sets out Welsh agriculture’s asks of next UK Government

NFU Cymru has published its manifesto for the 2024 Westminster General Election, outlining the union’s priorities for the next UK Government to help support farmers and rural communities in Wales.

With the next UK Government deciding the overall budget for Welsh farming, the NFU Cymru 2024 General Election Manifesto sets out three clear asks of the next government in relation to funding:

A clear undertaking to provide a UK agricultural support budget for the length of the next parliament – a ring-fenced multi-annual agricultural budget through to the next election

A commitment to look afresh at the budgetary allocation provided to support UK agriculture in order to restore its real terms value which has been significantly eroded by inflation

Welsh farming now needs a budget of over £500m annually to take account of inflation and to help ensure that the industry’s ambitions for food, nature and climate can be met

Investment in agriculture provides stability
NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said, “Government investment in agriculture provides stability to farm businesses and is crucial to maintaining the supply of safe, high quality and affordable food. Our ability as a nation to feed itself is of growing importance in a world which is increasingly unstable as conflict rages in many parts of the world, supply chains are increasingly stressed and our climate changes.”

“Although agriculture has been devolved to Cardiff for a quarter of a century, aside from the budget, there are a number of important policy areas reserved to Westminster which impact directly and indirectly on the industry which we have also focussed on in our 2024 General Election manifesto.

“Food production and food security must be given the priority they deserve in this country. There are a number of policy levers related to food security which will sit in the hands of the next UK Government, and it is vital that we put steps in place to make sure we are a food-secure nation. These include addressing imbalances in the food supply chain, strengthening country of origin labelling and revisiting the powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator. We must also properly understand the impacts on domestic producers of trade deals entered into with third countries and ensure that these deals are balanced and fair.

Products in demand
“The culture, heritage and quality associated with Welsh food and drink means our products are in demand around the world. Opportunities do exist in the post-Brexit landscape to further grow our export markets. To ensure these new markets are fully capitalised the network of agri-food attaches employed in key markets overseas must be retained and further developed.

“NFU Cymru is committed to working with candidates of all parties as they seek the endorsement of the electorate over the next few weeks. After the election, NFU Cymru is committed to working positively and constructively with whoever forms the next government in order to help ensure we have a thriving agricultural sector and rural economy.”

NFU Cymru Deputy President Abi Reader said, “NFU Cymru’s manifesto is a comprehensive but accessible document which covers off a range of issues including funding for agriculture, climate change, food security, UK biosecurity, third country trade deals, EU relations, labour on farm and rural crime. I wish all those seeking election next month the very best in their campaigns and I urge them, as well as interested members of the public, to take the time to study NFU Cymru’s manifesto.”

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