Ahead of the 2016 Welsh Senedd elections, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) warned of the unprecedented challenges facing the incoming Senedd Members and Government. Since then those challenges have not only materialised but been exacerbated and added to.
In the FUW 2021 Welsh Senedd Election Manifesto, the Union continues to be clear that Wales’ family farms lie at the centre of our rural economy, culture and landscape, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of businesses involved in the Welsh food supply industry, and making innumerable other contributions to the well-being of Welsh and UK residents - benefits central to which is the production of food, our most precious commodity alongside water.
Future policies must reflect the need to mitigate climate change and protect our environment but such aspirations must be tempered by the knowledge that sweeping changes that undermine our family farms and food production will merely shift production to countries with lower animal welfare standards and higher global and environmental footprints.
The FUW also remains frustrated about the lack of bespoke Welsh policies regarding future farming scheme proposals and tackling water quality issues put forward by the current Welsh Government, and the distinct feeling that those who govern us from Cardiff Bay are now more remote from and indifferent to our rural communities than ever.