The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has welcomed further productive talks with key stakeholders on Wales’ future outside of the EU at today’s Royal Welsh Show.
The meeting follows initial roundtable talks between the First Minister, Cabinet Secretary and key figures from Wales’ agriculture, marine and environment sectors on the 4th July, where a commitment was made to continue to work together in order to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities posed by the UK’s exit from the EU.
During the meeting the group finalised a high level joint agreement stating that all sectors would work together to support the Welsh Government’s negotiations with the UK Government on the terms and timings of Brexit and to develop agricultural and environmental policies to prepare Wales for a future outside the EU.
It was also agreed that trade and access to the single market should be core to discussions on the UK’s exit from the EU.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“Today’s discussions have once again been productive. While it is clearly a time of uncertainty it is also important to look at the opportunities. We have a chance to forge a new, made in Wales approach for the farming, food and environmental sector. We must be ambitious, imaginative and brave in our thinking.
“I’m pleased there is a dedication to work together in genuine partnership. I believe this puts us in the strongest position to meet the challenges ahead and to secure the best outcome possible for Wales’ farming, food and environment sectors.”
NFU Cymru President Stephen James said:
“NFU Cymru is encouraged by the willingness of the Cabinet Secretary to work with the industry to develop an overall agricultural policy that is fit for purpose, forward thinking, enhances our competitiveness and enables us to realise our ambition for a productive, progressive and profitable industry that will result in jobs growth and investment in Wales.
“Crucial to any policy will be securing the best possible access to European markets, which will continue to remain vitally important to the Welsh food and drink industry.”
Rachel Sharp, CEO of Wildlife Trust Wales, added:
"We are committed to working in collaboration with all partners, including farmers, to look at sustainable land management. The biggest challenge is not just food security but environmental, water, energy and carbon security too. We now have a huge opportunity to work together to create the Wales we want."