NFU Cymru is encouraging farmers in Wales to add their voices to a new survey to help develop a vision for the future of Welsh upland farming.
About 78% of land in Wales is designated as a Less Favoured Area (LFA), but these same areas provide a rich contribution to the environmental, economic, social and cultural prosperity of Wales and its communities.
Welsh agriculture faces numerous challenges, including the fallout from Brexit and the possibility of punitive tariffs on beef and sheep exports, as well as the looming threat to UK agriculture of cheap food trade deals with other countries.
“With concerns around incoming changes to future agricultural policy in Wales, the UK’s imminent departure from its closest and biggest market, and the prolonged impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it is a time of significant change and the future for the Welsh uplands remains an uncertain one,” said NFU Cymru LFA board chair Kath Whitrow.
“For this reason, it has never been more important for the Welsh farming industry to write its own narrative and shape the conversation about the future of Wales’ uplands.”
Welsh hill farmer Gareth Wyn Jones, who runs an 809ha farm with vegetables and livestock in Llanfairfechan, north Wales, urged fellow farmers to respond to the survey.
“It’s important to have our say to secure the next generation can protect the uplands and produce food here,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Social media push
NFU Cymru is encouraging farmers who have completed the survey to use the #Vision4WelshUplands or #GweledigaethIUcheldirCymru hashtags on social media to encourage fellow farming friends and family members to fill out their own response.
The survey is open for five weeks and closes on 25 September. The findings will be submitted to industry stakeholders and Welsh government.