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Sam Rowlands MS backs farmers protesting at new scheme

Sam with protesting farmers

SAM ROWLANDS, Member of the Welsh Parliament for North Wales, has expressed his support for farmers protesting against the Welsh Government’s proposed sustainable farming scheme.

Mr Rowlands, a keen supporter of the agricultural industry and a regular visitor to farms in North Wales said he supported farmers who have been making their feelings known across Wales.

As thousands of protesters from farming communities gathered outside Welsh Parliament in Cardiff, speaking in the Senedd, Mr Rowlands asked the Minister for Rural Affairs for an update on the expected impact of the rollout of the sustainable farming scheme on farmers in North Wales.

Rowlands said, “Outside here thousands of farmers are standing up for their communities, their farms and their very way of life. They see the current proposals in the SFS as an attack on rural Wales and the people who cultivate and nurture our land, and it’s obvious why.

“Your own impact assessment estimates that 5,500 jobs in rural Wales will be lost as a result, a £200 million hit to the economy, with around 11% fewer livestock in Wales. And these numbers are shocking and should really give serious pause for thought, which I know is something you’re looking to do.

“But it’s not just farmers themselves who are likely to suffer, but those in the supply chain too, and by damaging those farm incomes there will be damage to the agri-food supply chain and all those livelihoods that depend on it.

“Minister, I wonder what consideration you’re giving and what you’re looking to do to not just protect the supply chain, but to help it thrive?”

The Minister, Lesley Griffiths told members that nothing had been decided and the current proposal was a consultation.

Mr Rowlands added, “We all know that this Welsh Labour Government does not listen when it comes to consultations. You only have to look at the debacle of introducing the ridiculous 20mph speed limit across the country.

“I just hope they realise the great depth of feeling from farming communities against this unacceptable proposed scheme and it is withdrawn. I would also urge those who have not taken part in the consultation to make sure they do so before it closes on Thursday March 7.”