When Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths launched the latest consultation ‘Sustainable Farming and our Land’ we made a promise to members to hold events across Wales to discuss what is being proposed.

The consultation outlines proposals for future farm and rural support which have been revised in light of the comments received in response to the 2018 'Brexit and our Land' consultation.

It proposes that future support should be designed around the principle of sustainability in a way which brings together the ‘wide-ranging and significant economic, environmental and social contribution or farmers’, through a single Sustainable Farming Scheme based on the principles of providing a meaningful and stable income stream; rewarding outcomes in a fair way; paying for both new and existing sustainable practices; and flexibility allowing every type of farm to apply.

We welcome the fact that the consultation document acknowledges many of the concerns raised by respondents to last years 'Brexit and our Land' consultation, and focuses on farmers and food producers.

Concerns highlighted by the FUW last year about the dangers of setting a fixed timetable and ploughing ahead with proposals at a time of complete uncertainty over Brexit and its impacts, and undertaking detailed modelling and economic assessments of proposals before coming to any decision, also appear to have been taken on board.

Whilst we hope that the Welsh Government will indeed extend the consultation period, until we have had clear confirmation that this is the case, we will do our best to ensure that farmers understand the proposals.

I would therefore urge anyone with an interest in the future of agriculture, and our rural economy to join us at our meeting on Wednesday, October 9, at The Elephant & Castle Hotel, Broad Street, Newtown, SY16 2BQ, at 7.30pm, which has been sponsored by HSBC bank, to discuss what is being proposed. Hopefully I will see many of you there!