NFU meets Welsh MPs
The heads of the National Farmers' Union have urged MPs to recognise the importance of high farming standards and ensure they are not sacrificed by the UK’s future trade policy.
At a reception for politicians following the General Election the Welsh NFU president, John Davies, was able to meet MPs from across Wales including new members of the house.
MPs from across the political spectrum attended the reception, along with peers, industry representatives and civil servants.
Mr Davies said: “With our departure from the EU now just weeks away, it is a truly critical time for the food and farming sector. We are moving away from almost half a century of participation in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, and we will very shortly be looking to establish a completely new trading relationship with the EU27, and indeed much of the rest of the world. During the course of this Parliament we will see legislation brought forward and decisions made which will impact on farmers for years to come. It is essential that we get these things right as delivering the right post-Brexit trading arrangements, as well as appropriate levels of support for the sector, will be vital to sustaining a viable and productive agricultural sector in Wales.
“Welsh farmers have built a proud reputation for operating to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards; standards which distinguish us from the rest of the world. These high standards must not be undermined by any future trade agreements allowing the import of food produced to standards which would be deemed illegal here, into the UK. I re-iterate my call for the government to introduce a trade and standards commission, to ensure that our own high standards are upheld and respected in any future trade agreements.
“Our farmers are ambitious and they have the skills and natural resource base from which to rise to meet future challenges. We see opportunities to increase our self-sufficiency by producing more high quality food here in Wales, securing new export markets and becoming producers of the most climate friendly food in the world by becoming net zero emitters of greenhouse gases by 2040.”
Mr Davies concluded: “I know Brexit is set to dominate our agenda for some time, but I don’t want it to crowd out other pressing rural issues which need addressing including rural crime, supply chain transparency and fairness and poor rural connectivity issues ."
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