Farming leaders in Wales have congratulated Huw Irranca-Davies MS on his appointment as Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs.

As the recently appointed First Minister for Wales, Vaughan Gething MS, announced his new Senedd Cabinet last week.

Mr Irranca-Davies has been the MS for Ogmore since 2016. He was previously the MP for Ogmore from 2002 to 2016.

Both NFU Cymru and the FUW have offered their congratulations to the new Cabinet Secretary.

In writing to the recently appointed Secretary, FUW President Ian Rickman said: “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Huw Irranca-Davies on being appointed as the new Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs. On behalf of the FUW, I wish him every success in the role and we look forward to working with him and his officials in shaping a better future for Welsh agriculture.

"This is certainly an extremely busy time for the farming sector. However, the depth of feeling and frustration demonstrated only weeks ago in Cardiff and across Wales has by no means gone away. The new Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs takes on this portfolio at one of the most critical times for the future of our industry.”

“Not only does this include the urgent need to rethink the Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals in genuine co-design with the farming unions, it also includes wider and longstanding issues. The Welsh Government’s approach to bovine TB management and eradication and the pan-Wales Control of Agricultural Pollution ‘NVZ’ regulations are topics causing the industry grave issues.

“The compounded impact of these current policies and proposals are evident by the widespread frustration and the significant increase in referrals rural mental health charities, such as the DPJ Foundation, have witnessed over recent months.

“We therefore look forward to working with Huw Irranca-Davies and his team to ensure that our members’ views receive the recognition they deserve in shaping agricultural policies in Wales that work for Welsh farmers.” 

NFU Cymru also sent their congratulations and say they look forward to meeting with the new Cabinet Secretary at the earliest opportunity - given the numerous and well-documented challenges currently facing Welsh farmers. 

NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Huw Irranca-Davies MS on his appointment as Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs.

“The new Cabinet Secretary brings a wealth of experience to the portfolio, having previously presided as Defra Parliamentary Under Secretary and he was subsequently a Shadow Defra Minister. In his role as a Member of the Senedd, he has engaged regularly with NFU Cymru and our members. Indeed, we met with him earlier this week when he attended our Sustainable Farming Scheme drop-in session at the Senedd. We were pleased to be able to share our key asks to Mr Irranca-Davies.

“We anticipate an early meeting with the Cabinet Secretary to talk through the very pressing challenges the sector faces and the ongoing unrest in the industry. One of the top policy priorities will be for the Cabinet Secretary to address the union’s concerns around the current Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals. We will also be asking the Cabinet Secretary to recognise the emotional and financial impact of current Welsh Government bovine TB policy. In addition to this, NFU Cymru will impress upon the Cabinet Secretary the need to review the unworkable water quality regulations that Welsh farmers are subject to. 

“NFU Cymru has a vision for Welsh farmers to be world-leaders in the production of climate friendly food and we look forward to working with the new Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs to help Welsh farming realise its ambitions.”