NFU Cymru has stated that it is pleased that the Welsh government has recognised the need for a universal set of actions that all farmers in Wales should undertake in return for support under the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS).

The union highlighted that the outcomes Welsh government seeks to achieve through the scheme should be extended to include key objectives such as food security, rural vitality, on-farm productivity and the Welsh language.

NFU Cymru president Aled Jones said:

“I am encouraged by the Welsh government’s proposals outlined today that in return for undertaking a set of universal actions, farmers will be able to enter into the scheme and receive a baseline payment.

"We now need to carefully consider the practicality of these actions and how they could work to support productive, progressive and profitable farming systems.

“The outline proposed by the Welsh government appears to be a step towards the NFU Cymru vision of a sustainability and stability payment that should be available to all active farmers.

“NFU Cymru has consistently highlighted the need to ensure that support must be targeted at active farmers; the people and businesses taking the risks associated with food production.

"I am pleased that the minister has reiterated the importance of payments being linked to actions which an active farmer carries out.

"We now need to carefully consider the proposals to ensure that they work for all farmers, including tenants and commoners, and do not disadvantage those who farm land they do not own.

“Whilst the outline proposals published today give farmers a first opportunity to see some of the actions and activities they may need to undertake to enter the SFS, without any information on the levels of funding attached to these actions and activities it remains impossible for farming families to consider how the scheme will support their farming business.

"We are clear that the scheme must deliver at least the same level of stability for farm businesses, the supply chain and our rural communities as the current arrangements do.

"There is a need to ensure that the scheme works for all farming sectors and all land types in Wales.

“I am heartened that the proposals outlined today have moved forward significantly since the government began its engagement with industry through the 2018 Brexit and Our Land consultation.

"I welcome the fact that through extensive consultation with the industry, the minister and her officials have taken on board a number of issues raised by NFU Cymru and we look forward to continuing to work with the minister and her team to implement a policy conceived, born and bred in Wales."