An open letter organised by Wales Organic Forum has been sent to the Welsh Government calling on them to maintain financial support in place for businesses that produce food organically. The letter, which is signed by a cohort of farmers, food producers and individuals involved with nature institutions, expresses deep concern that the Welsh Government is preparing to bring financial support for the sector to an end.
As part of the post Brexit landscape, the current plan to support environmental benefits in the agricultural sector is finishing at the end of 2023, and the Welsh Government is planning to implement an interim policy for 2024. According to the letter it seems as if support for organic food producers is absent from the new scheme.
The letter states:
‘We – businesses, food producers and farming and environmental organisations – urge you to reconsider your government’s plans to abandon support for organic farming in Wales.
A withdrawal of support for organic farming will have serious economic and environmental consequences in Wales. The decision poses an existential risk to the Welsh food and farming sector’s ability to deliver to our climate, nature and food security obligations. It is likely to precipitate a mass exodus of organic farmers, inflicting long lasting damage on the sector.’
The letter is signed by the following individuals:
Iestyn Tudur-Jones – General Manager, Welsh Lamb and Beef Producers Ltd
Caroline Sherrott – Senior Certification Manager, Soil Association Certification
Steven Jacobs – Business Development Manager, Organic Farmers & Growers
Cristina Dimetto – Managing Director, Organic Trade Board
Alan Prior – Managing Director, Rachel’s Organic
Laurence Harris and Dr Tom Harris – Daioni Organic and Ffosyficer Farms
Leisia Tudor – Lamb Agriculture Manager, Dunbia
Lord Newborough – Farm and Business Owner, Rhug Estate
Patrick Holden – Founder & CEO, Sustainable Food Trust
Hywel Morgan – Chair, Nature Friendly Farming Network in Wales
Holly Tomlinson – Welsh Policy Coordinator, Landworkers Alliance
Gary Mitchell – Joint Wales Manager, Social Farms and Gardens Jimmy Woodrow – CEO, Pasture for Life
Alun Prichard – Director, RSPB Cymru
Rachel Sharp Director – Wildlife Trusts Wales
Gareth Clubb – Director, WWF Cymru
Lhosa Daly – Director, National Trust Cymru
You can read the letter in full by following this link.