Welsh farm minister calls for summit

Wales’ newly-appointed farming minister is to hold a summit meeting with his counterparts in the UK’s other devolved administrations to ensure they have a strong voice in Brussels.

During his first farm visit, Alun Davies insisted that a reduction in the EU budget proposed by central government would be a disaster for Welsh communities.

Mr Davies will meet Scotland and Northern Ireland’s farm ministers to ensure that the needs of farmers in all three countries are not overlooked during CAP reform talks.

“The UK government has the idea that it wants to reduce the EU budget but the result of that reduction in funding for farmers in Wales would be a disaster. It is important that we get that right,” he said.

But Mr Davies is anxious to create conditions of unity with the UK government. “I don’t see us as being in conflict with DEFRA. We want a relationship of collaboration and to work closely with the UK administration.”

Mr Davies, whose first farm visit was to beef and sheep producer, Rob Powell, near Builth Wells, said his main focus is office is to increase the profitability of businesses like Mr Powell’s.

“I want to help make businesses like Rob’s successful and to create prosperity. That is what is important to me and that will be my focus,” he said.

Mr Davies said he would do this by creating the right market conditions and by looking at reducing regulation and administration where possible. And he will continue Wales’ fight in the European Commission for a level of tolerance on EID.