Welsh farmers join protest in Cardiff

Welsh farmers joined a protest in Cardiff yesterday, which coincided with the announcement that the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) transition will be delayed until 2026. 

Thousands of farmers joined protest in Cardiff yesterday, which coincided with announcement that Sustainable Farming Scheme will be delayed.
Photo by Sharon Pritchard.

On World Farmers Day, 14th May, farmers marched and drove through the Welsh capital to show their dissatisfaction with the government’s “anti-farming” policies.

Protesters were carrying signs with phrases such as ‘No farmers, No food, No future’.

Insecure future

The protest was organised by Welsh Farmers Unite, which said that Welsh farmers are currently facing doubt, negativity and insecurity about the industry’s future.  

The organisers added: “We need to show that we are watching, and we will not let this government ruin our industry.  

“Our hopes for significant change to the Sustainable Farming Scheme, bovine TB, and NVZ regulations diminish daily.” 

SFS delayed

In order to gain access to the SFS, which was set to launch in 2025, farmers and food producers would have to commit to planting 10% of their land with trees and earmark another 10% as wildlife habitat.  

Farmers, who altogether own 80% of Wales’ landscape, raised concerns that the requirements of the scheme could lead to thousands of jobs being lost across the industry. 

On Tuesday, 14th May, the cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies MS, confirmed that the proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) transition will now start in 2026.   

Speaking at a press conference at Sealands Farm in Bridgend, he said that the change of timing was part of his “commitment to meaningful engagement with the farming sector”. 

Huw Irranca-Davies MS

He added: “Since the first day of taking up this role, I have been out and about meeting and listening to our farmers, hearing their views, and taking on board what they have to say.  

“My commitment to meaningful engagement with the farming sector, Plaid Cymru colleagues under the Cooperation Agreement and other stakeholders on the changes needed will necessitate a change in the implementation timetable.  

“We have always said the scheme would not be introduced until it is ready, and I stand by that.”  

The cabinet secretary also said that the government is listening to the farming community and will “continue to listen”. 

Read more political news.

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