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Keeping Farmers Farming. Make sure we know your views - we are listening

As the consultation on the Sustainable Farming Scheme enters its final two weeks the Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths is urging people to take part in the consultation and make sure their views are heard.

The consultation, Keeping Farmers Farming, was launched in December and outlines proposals which aim to secure food production systems, keep farmers farming the land, safeguard the environment, and address the urgent call of the climate and nature emergency.

Every individual response to the consultation will be considered.  No final decision on the scheme will be taken until the consultation is completed and responses considered. 

The proposals have been shaped by feedback received from farmers and the wider industry over three consultations and two phases of co-design.

Changes in the Scheme in response to this feedback include making the scheme accessible to all farmers in Wales from 2025, phasing the introduction of the Collaborative and Optional actions and ensuring actions are proportionate and appropriate to farming in Wales.  

Changes also include adjustments to the proposal for a requirement for minimum 10 per cent tree cover, which includes existing trees and newly planted areas.  Changes have been made to meet the needs of tenant farmers and the requirement would not be introduced until 2030, giving farmers time to adjust with support from the Welsh Government.  There would be no retrospective penalty if farmers had not reached the 10 per cent target.

The Minister said: 

The title of this consultation is Keeping Farmers Farming, and that is exactly our aim.  I know this is a period of uncertainty for farming as we design future support.

We have to get this right.  I want our farmers to continue to produce food sustainably.  That’s why we’ve involved the industry every step of the way, and it’s vitally important people take part in the consultation.  We have never engaged so thoroughly with our farmers and stakeholders. 

I meet with the farming unions regularly, and met them earlier this week specifically to discuss feedback from our Sustainable Farming Scheme consultation roadshows and theirs. 

This is a genuine consultation and I fully expect to make some changes to the proposals as a result of the responses.  We are listening and we will consider all responses.

10 Roadshows (30 presentation sessions) have been held  across Wales since January, speaking to  over 3,200 farmers about the consultation.

The consultation is open until March 7 and is available here: Sustainable Farming Scheme - Keeping farmers farming.

Channel website: http://gov.wales

Original article link: https://www.gov.wales/keeping-farmers-farming-make-sure-we-know-your-views-we-are-listening

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