UK Government Minister David TC Davies and Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Minister Victoria Prentis co-hosted a Q&A with representatives from the farming and agricultural sector in Wales earlier today as part of the last day of the virtual Royal Welsh Show this year.
Rebecca Williams, National Trust Wales’ Assistant Director, Conservation facilitated the discussion about the opportunities and challenges faced by the rural economy in Wales.
Conversation also focussed on how the UK Government can work with the industry to combat the negative impact of the coronavirus and work towards economic recovery, while delivering a Brexit that works for Welsh farmers and consumers.
The virtual event comes as the UK’s transformative Agriculture Bill moves through the House of Lords Committee stage in its journey to becoming law. The Bill will ensure a smooth and gradual transition away from the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy.
The UK Government has also recently launched its ‘bounce back’ plan of measures to support agriculture, food and drink industries to recover from the coronavirus. The package includes a programme of physical and virtual events which have been tailored to help a variety of businesses to get back into international markets and start growing market share once again.
UK Government Minister in Wales David TC Davies said:
While the Royal Welsh Show has moved to an online platform this year, it is more important than ever to listen to the voices of those from the agricultural and farming sectors as we seek to rebuild our economy following the coronavirus and maximise the potential of leaving the EU.
The UK Government recognises the importance of the rural economy to Wales’ prosperity and I look forward to working closely together with representatives from the sector to ensure the thoughts and opinions discussed today are reflected in our decision-making and future direction.
Victoria Prentis, DEFRA Farming Minister said:
I am delighted to have been able to hear from representatives of Welsh agriculture and farming industries at this year’s virtual Royal Welsh Show, which is truly a testament to the adaptability of these sectors in the current challenging times.
We will always back farmers across all four corners of the UK and we will make sure they can seize the opportunities outside of the EU. This includes taking advantage of the growing global demand for our great British produce, such as for our world-famous Welsh lamb.