Organic body meets Welsh Government on farming policy

Soil Association representatives met members of the Welsh Government yesterday (Thursday 30 April), to discuss their priorities for farmers and agricultural policy for the next 12 months.

The organic certification body told members of the Welsh Government’s environment and sustainability committee that Welsh farmers needed more certainty about the Basic Payments Scheme, which is the means by which EU funding under the Common Agricultural Policy is distributed. A consultation is currently under way to determine the rates that should be paid for different types of farmland.

“It is imperative that the outcome is announced as soon as possible, so farmers know what they will be paid and when,” said Trevor Mansfield, head of policy for farming and land-use at the Soil Association.

Mansfield said another priority for the coming year was to ensure the government kept organic priorities at the forefront of policy decisions.
“We commend the Welsh Assembly for the decision to maintain the ban on GM crops in Wales,” he said. “We are recommending they build on this – and the growing UK market for organic produce – by promoting the green image of Welsh agriculture.”
Other priorities include improving the integration of organic into other sectors of agricultural policy and to increase the diversity of farming in Wales.

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