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.
Alongside other critical issues and priorities outlined in this manifesto, the FUW urges the incoming Welsh Government and Senedd to develop bespoke, tailor-made policies that reflect such global realities as well as Welsh economic, social and environmental needs and the seven Welsh Well-being Goals; policies which maintain our already high standards while ensuring Welsh producers are not undermined.
For the period of the next Welsh Senedd and beyond, the FUW is committed to lobbying all those in Cardiff to ensure that agriculture and family farms receive the attention and respect that they warrant – for the sake of all our futures.
Read the full FUW 2021 Welsh Senedd Election Manifesto and the top key asks of the next Welsh Government here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/policy/policy-reports