19 May 2021
Trade deal concerns for Welsh growers
ANY UK trade deal with Australia must not disadvantage Welsh farmers, Wales’ Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething and Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths have said today.
A report in the Financial Times claims UK Government Ministers are negotiating zero tariff market access for agricultural products in the UK-Australia free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, and this would harm the Welsh agriculture and food producing sectors, Lesley states.
"A thriving and sustainable agricultural sector is key to many Welsh rural communities," a joint statement from the Welsh Government says. "Although food production remains the cornerstone of the agricultural sector, responding to the climate emergency and enhancing on-farm biodiversity are key priorities for the Welsh Government, and Wales’ producers and their high standards are key to achieving this."
Vaughan Gething added: “Farmers and food producers play a crucial role in our society, economy and environment. We have been very clear with the UK Government that any new trade deals must not cause an un-level playing field, by giving food importers with lower standards an economic advantage in our market compared to our own producers.”
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: "We are extremely proud of the high food safety standards we have here in Wales, including standards around animal health and welfare, traceability, environment and food safety. No trade agreement should ever undermine that or our domestic legislation and the Welsh Government has consistently made this point to the UK Government."