CLA Cymru has claimed another lobbying win as the Welsh Government announced that that it is committing £66m to allow the extension of Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic contracts until December 2023. A further £7m will also extend Farming Connect’s advice service through to March 2023.
Fraser McAuley, CLA Senior Policy Advisor says, “Together with other like-minded organisations, we’ve consistently lobbied the Government to sustain these contracts as a vital bridge into the new Sustainable Farming Scheme. Over a million hectares of Welsh land is subject to these contracts. Transitioning to the new scheme without keeping a foot on the support-for-sustainability pedal is unthinkable since how we manage landscape for bio-conservation and tackle environmental priorities as integral parts of agriculture, are key principles of the new scheme.”
The Welsh Government is extending the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) until 2023. “This is subject to sufficient funding from the UK Government,” Fraser adds, “It will be essential that Westminster and Cardiff work together. We must avoid any further disputes and interruptions as we have recently experienced. The Government has committed to avoid a cliff-edge situation. We must be equally vigilant to ensure we have good long-distance visibility ahead.”
This week’s announcement establishes a timeline for shaping a scheme which delivers so much more than its predecessor to future generations, farmers, land managers and rural communities. We’ve got to get it right!
“New ground’s being broken to create a scheme which rewards farmers for delivering a range of public goods.” Fraser continues, “How we measure and pay for these services needs to be formulated, modelled and tested on the ground. No easy task, this; and the CLA will be working with government to design, build and operate a machine which meets many high expectations delivering for many of today’s goals: food production, air and water quality, managing climate change, biodiversity and more.”
“Success will not only be a seamless progression into the scheme, but consistency with neighbouring UK schemes to maintain global competitiveness.” Fraser adds, “This week’s announcement establishes a timeline for shaping a scheme which delivers so much more than its predecessor to future generations, farmers, land managers and rural communities. We’ve got to get it right.”