Opportunities and challenges around agricultural trade were the key topics of discussion when Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies spoke to farmers at NFU Cymru Welsh Council.
The RT Hon David TC Davies MP, Secretary of State for Wales, visited NFU Cymru Welsh Council in Cardiff on Monday 30th January to provide members with an overview of the trading export picture for Welsh products, including PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef.
Speaking after the meeting, NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “We are grateful to the Secretary of State for Wales for attending NFU Cymru Welsh Council today. The meeting gave NFU Cymru members a useful opportunity to ask the Secretary of State for Wales about the make-up of the post-Brexit trade deals already agreed, as well as the opportunities to get Welsh products on the plates of consumers around the world in the future.
“It was pleasing to hear from the Secretary of State about the market openings that have been forged in the USA and Japan. NFU Cymru is also very pleased to see the recent appointment of eight new agri-food attachés, bringing the total number of attachés in British embassies to 11. Farmers are eager to learn how these new appointees can help us to access new markets and new consumers.
“During the discussions, members raised their concerns about the impact of the Australia and New Zealand trade deals on the home market. There was significant concern from PGI Welsh Lamb producers in the room, in particular, about reports of increased imports of New Zealand lamb putting pressure on the domestic lamb market at this time.
“NFU Cymru has long been concerned about the parliamentary scrutiny of trade agreements, believing like most other developed trading nations there should be the opportunity for our elected representatives to properly debate and scrutinise the detail of agreements in consultation with trusted industry stakeholders. We used today’s meeting to impress upon the Secretary of State that it is crucial that future trade deals are balanced, delivering opportunities for Welsh agri-food exports and ensuring that our high standards of food production are not compromised by imports that fail to meet our standards of production.”
Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said: “The farming and food sectors are incredibly important in Wales and our country is rightly recognised across the world for its high-quality produce.
“It was fantastic to meet the NFU Cymru Council and discuss the issues they are facing, but also to hear about how this vital industry can succeed and thrive for generations to come.”