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Statement from Rural Affairs Minister as consultation closes

Datganiad gan y Gweinidog Materion Gwledig wrth i'r ymgynghoriad gau

The Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has today thanked everyone who has taken the time to respond to the Sustainable Farming Scheme consultation. She has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to supporting farming as a crucial means of addressing the climate and nature emergency which is threatening the ability of future generations to produce the food they need.

The Minister said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in this consultation, or attended one of our roadshows.

“Every response to the consultation will be carefully considered.

“There are many examples of the very highest standards of farming and food production in Wales, and we believe that we must support more farmers to achieve those high standards to ensure a sustainable future for our rural communities and our nation as a whole. We will use the wealth of valuable insight gained through the consultation to consider how best this can be achieved.

“Every consultation response received, and the issues raised and discussed at the 10 Welsh Government Roadshow events during the consultation period, will be analysed and properly considered. We will publish that analysis and a summary of the responses later in the spring. We will now take forward the work highlighted in the Written Statement of 27 February.

“I have been clear I expect changes to be made to the proposals as a result of the consultation so that we can most effectively support a transition to more sustainable farming in Wales, as our present circumstances demand. No decision will be taken on any of the proposals, including how we achieve the requirement for habitat and trees, until a full analysis of the responses has been carried out.

“Our aim is to secure a successful future for Wales and for our farmers. We want them to continue producing food sustainably into the future, in ways that we know many farmers already practice right across Wales. Sustainable food production delivers additional benefits such as improvements to business efficiency, water quality and biodiversity, which in turn ensure that food production can continue for generations to come. These are benefits to wider society and we continue to believe that public funding for farming is well justified on the basis of the kind of social value farmers provide.

“I’d like to assure everyone who has taken part in the consultation - we are listening and we will take all views into account.  We have to get this right, the future of food production in Wales depends on it.”

Notes to editors


A Written Statement published on 27 February outlined potential next steps:

  • Ensuring that where farmers are asked to gather information as part of SFS, this process will be as efficient as possible, GDPR compliant and maximises the value of that data to farmers.
  • Ensuring actions within SFS are appropriately targeted at improving the economic resilience of farms. This includes ensuring woodland and habitat requirements do not make farms unviable.
  • Ensuring farm payments are distributed fairly and accessible to all.
  • Considering an evidence-based review of any further and alternative proposals to achieve carbon sequestration within the Sustainable Farming Scheme.
  • Establish regular review points between the Welsh Government and the farming unions and representatives, in formulating final proposals.
  • Carry out an updated economic analysis.

The incoming First Minister, who will take up post on 20 March, will want to carefully review the results of the consultation and consider in detail the pace of implementation of SFS.

Written Statement: Farming in Wales (27 February 2024) | GOV.WALES