New plans to support organic farmers in Wales have been set out by the Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies. This follows the recent consultationsee responses here
In a statement to Assembly Members, Alun Davies emphasised how important organic farming was to the future of Wales’ agricultural sector and highlighted that organic status invariably added value to products and resulted in greater environmental sustainability.
However the Minister acknowledged that the last few years had been challenging for the organic sector. He said:
“We know that the economic downturn has had a negative affect on organic sales across the UK but during this difficult period I have sought to re-assure organic farmers that the Welsh Government will continue to recognise the benefits of organic farming.
“Back in 2011 I set out my intention to ensure Wales has a stand alone scheme to support organic farmers under the next Rural Development Programme, and last year I asked a consortium, led by the Organic Research Centre to consult with organic producers and advise me on what a new scheme under the next RDP should look like.
“We have since consulted on those proposals and I am now in a position to provide more detail of our new scheme to support organic farming.
“Importantly the scheme includes increased support for training and modernisation. This has been made possible by my decision to transfer 15% of CAP budget from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 and will help us to build resilience and long term sustainability into Wales’ organic farming sector.
“I hope the new scheme provides re-assurance to organic farmers across Wales that this Government remains committed to the principles of organic farming as an important part of our wider strategy for agriculture and will ensure that organic farming develops in way that is sustainable and contributes to the future prosperity of rural Wales.”
Under the new arrangements:
Read the Minister’s statement here
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