A multi-million-pound package of support to help the Welsh agri-food industry prepare for Brexit has been confirmed by First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones.

Through the Welsh Government’s £50 million EU Transition Fund, £2.15 million will be provided to support the development of the red meat sector in Wales.

Boosting farm profitability

The investment aims to help farmers identify improvements to their businesses and enable them to become more competitive and trade more profitably following Brexit.

Funding will also be given to an import substitution project to help identify and secure supply chains within the UK and encourage companies based in the EU to set up operations in Wales.

Over the next two years, the fishing and aquaculture industries will also receive financial support to help that sector find new markets and prepare for future trading outside the EU.

The First Minister said: “Brexit presents a series of challenges and opportunities for our agriculture and fisheries industries. The funding I am announcing today from our EU Transition Fund will provide vitally needed support.

“As a Government, we will do all we can to help these important industries prepare for a post-Brexit world.”

EU Transition Fund

The announcement was welcomed by NFU Cymru president, John Davies.

He said: “When we became aware of the details of the EU Transition Fund earlier this year, NFU Cymru, in meetings with the Cabinet Secretary, raised the possibility of using the fund to provide support to the red meat sector in Wales, in a similar way to how the EU conditional aid scheme was used to help the dairy sector in 2017. Therefore we very much welcome the announcement by the First Minister.

“We hope Welsh Government will now work with the industry to develop the detail of the scheme to ensure that the information that will be required from producers is easily obtainable and that the support can make a meaningful difference on-farm.

We’re also pleased to see support for an import substitution project to help maximise the opportunity for Welsh produce to be used in domestic supply chains.

“With great uncertainty remaining over our future trading relationship with the EU, and with our red meat sector so dependent on these EU markets, we are pleased the First Minister has recognised this and committed funding through the Welsh Government’s EU Transition Fund to this sector which is of vital importance to Wales.”