Family farms central to CAP debate

THE future of the family farm must be a major priority of a new Common Agricultural Policy, the Farmers Union of Wales has told a Welsh Assembly rural development sub-committee inquiry.

“It is one of the most important issues that will be facing the agricultural industry in Wales over the coming years, “said union president, Gareth Vaughan.

In 2005, the Treasury and Defra had published “A Vision for the Common Agricultural Policy”, setting out the UK Government’s vision for EU agricultural policy to 2020.

Its key policy reforms proposed included: alignment of import tariffs for all agricultural sectors with other sectors of the economy; abolition of production subsidies; abolition of price and direct income support measures; and abolition of export subsidies.

But independent analysis of the impact of the proposals had subsequently revealed significant adverse impacts for Welsh agriculture and rural communities generally.

“Scaling down agricultural support and opening up our markets will have dramatic consequences for Welsh agriculture, rural employment and our rural communities,” said Mr Vaughan.

“Such a watering down of the CAP would also mean abandoning our food security and deconstructing a framework which would otherwise be instrumental in tackling the key challenges of our age ─ namely, mitigating climate change without undermining food production.

“The FUW believes that to address these issues we need a robust CAP which is funded at a level that reflects the importance of these challenges and above all has the future of the family farm at its core.”

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