Most of us have seen some pretty rough weather over the last few weeks, with rain, sleet, snow, and strong winds an almost daily feature. Winter has arrived!

Let’s hope that things will calm down a bit as the finest prime stock show in Europe gets underway next week (come see us for a cuppa and mince pie if you’re at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair).

Whilst the weather and show preparations will be keeping many of you on your toes, we have been keeping policymakers and politicians on theirs.

Whenever we had the chance, we stressed that basing a Sustainable Farming Scheme and farm payments solely on the provision of Public Goods and environmental outcomes is a really narrow approach when it comes to creating a future Welsh policy. And one that could have dire consequences.

Brexit provides the opportunity to design a genuinely new scheme that takes full account of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015, so a scheme which focusses only on the provision of Public Goods and environmental outcomes would fail to take proper account of the Wellbeing Goals and other Welsh objectives.

We have argued that the United Nations’ Sustainable Land Management (SLM) principle, delivery of Public Goods and environmental outcomes, should form part of a future scheme or schemes, but not be the sole focus.

As such, the proposal “ adopt Sustainable Land Management (SLM) as our objective and design a framework identifying how to achieve it...” in the recent Welsh Government’s ‘Sustainable Farming and Our Land’ consultation, fails to ensure that the proposed policy encompasses the broader objectives of the Wellbeing Act and risks breaching it.

Since key competitors in other countries and regions will continue to receive direct support, our farmers would have to comply with more rules and restrictions and risk losing more agricultural land to access Public Goods and environmental outcome payments.

All of this was pointed out as part of our recent response to the ‘Sustainable Farming and Our Land Consultation’, but just as the weather remains unpredictable, we will have to wait and see if the clouds of uncertainty and worry, will give way to brighter days.