The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has met with the recently elected First Minister for Wales, Vaughan Gething, and new Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Climate Change, Huw Irranca-Davies, to discuss the way forward for the farming industry.

Speaking after the meeting, FUW President Ian Rickman said: “We welcome this early opportunity to outline the current challenges we face as a farming industry and to discuss possible next steps with the newly appointed First Minister and Cabinet Secretary following our request for an urgent meeting.

“We made it very clear that the feeling of frustration and anxiety within the industry still very much exists, and we presented our extensive Sustainable Farming Scheme consultation response and a list of our key asks to the Cabinet Secretary.”

FUW Deputy Head of Policy Gareth Parry added: “We also welcome the recognition and appreciation from both the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary of the current situation we find ourselves in. This is a crucial first step in understanding the severity of the problems we face and finding the best way forward to address them.

“What we want to see is the establishment of a small focussed stakeholder group tasked with discussing and proposing changes to the scheme through genuine co-design,” he said.

President Ian Rickman added: “The recent Government reshuffle is certainly positive news for the industry as it presents a new opportunity for meaningful change to the current proposals. We look forward to regular meetings with the Cabinet Secretary, and First Minister, to ensure that the final version of the Sustainable Farming Scheme properly delivers for Welsh farmers.”