NEIL Hamilton, MS for Mid & West Wales, and a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee has welcomed the news that NFU Cymru is a member of the newly established Trade and Agriculture Commission for the UK.
“I am delighted to see a Welsh farming union involved in this new body. It is excellent that they will be able to play a crucial role in ensuring the interests of Welsh farmers are actually heard and their views were taken into consideration.
“There has been a lot of concern expressed lately over maintaining and protecting our high standards, both in farming welfare and food production, as the UK Government pursues an independent trade policy. The commission will be an important link through which the food and farming industry in Wales can make their voice heard.
“Covid-19- has been a devastating time for all our farmers and many are still struggling and face challenging times ahead. It is a vital time for the agricultural industry that we pull together and make sure we get the best possible trade deal for us all.”
NFU Cymru President John Davies said: “The announcement of a Trade and Agriculture Commission is a significant step in our ongoing efforts to maintain and protect the high standards of animal welfare, production standards and environmental protections practiced by Welsh and UK farmers, ensuring those standards are not undermined in future trade deals.
“The creation of this commission has been a long-held aim of NFU Cymru, the NFU, NFU Scotland and Ulster Farmers’ Union and follows an extended lobbying campaign by all four organizations. The commission’s formation is, of course, also welcome recognition of the strength of public feeling on this matter. Our recent NFU food standards petition saw more than 1 million members of the British public send a message to the UK Government that they expect the food they eat to be produced to world-leading standards.
“Two weeks ago, NFU Cymru met with the Secretary of State Liz Truss to make clear our views on the standards issue and we are pleased that those constructive discussions have helped lead to the establishment of the Trade and Agriculture Commission.
“With the Trade and Agriculture Commission being tasked with producing its advisory report within a fixed six-month timeframe, it is clear that we do not have any time to waste. There is a huge volume of work ahead of us but NFU Cymru, through our involvement in the commission, is committed to using our resources and technical expertise to ensure that our high animal welfare, production, and environmental standards are upheld in any future trade deals.
“NFU Cymru is pleased to be a member of the newly-established Trade and Agriculture Commission and share our expertise to help inform and shape future UK trade policy so that it works effectively for Welsh farmers and, importantly, consumers, too.”