‘Tsar’ named to ease farmers’ red tape burden

Farmers in Wales could soon be relieved of the full burden of red tape as a major overhaul of regulation gets underway.

Deputy farming minister Alun Davies today (19 July) named the chairman of the Institute of Directors in Wales as the man who will lead a review investigating how bureaucracy can be reduced in the farming industry.

Gareth Williams will make recommendations which could eventually reduce the volume of paperwork sent to farmers.

“We are looking at ways to streamline paperwork for farmers and our e-business initiative will see Single Applications forms available online from 2014, with Glastir applications to follow,” the minister announced at the Royal Welsh Show. “E-business will help us reduce the amount of paperwork we send to farmers each year, speed up the whole process and reduce the cost of the process to the taxpayer.”

Following the recent publication of the MacDonald report into farming red tape in England, existing legislation could be changed and this could have implications for Wales.

The Welsh Government said it would work closely with DEFRA officials to ensure that the interests of Wales are reflected fully in any legislative changes.

“The message that appears in the MacDonald report is for a new approach to regulation, with a system where good practice is rewarded with less frequent inspections – an approach that I fully endorse,” added Alun Davies. “I am committed to helping farmers to maximise their profits and reducing bureaucracy to allow them to focus on farming. This is one way that we can do this.”

Gareth Williams’ report will be presented to the Welsh Government later this year.

For more from the Royal Welsh Show 2011, see our dedicated web page.

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