Food, Agriculture, and Fishing
The Welsh food and drink sector is integral to the prosperity and health of communities throughout Wales. The food supply chain is worth £7 billion to the Welsh economy, while the food and drink industry employs an estimated 240,000 people.
We will seek to create a stronger domestic food market underpinned by a more resilient processing capacity supported by more pro-active public procurement policies. We will also protect and grow the Welsh brand, building on the highest environmental and animal welfare standards. We support a GMO-free Wales and the continuing moratorium on GM crops.
Plaid Cymru will fight for full powers for the Senedd over food labelling. This would allow us to build on and enhance the Welsh brand, helping promote and add value to our internationally renowned Welsh produce.
Plaid Cymru MPs will also seek to ensure that any future trade deals secure geographical indications for key Welsh food such as Welsh Lamb and Beef, Halen Mȏn/Anglesey Sea Salt, Pembrokeshire early new potatoes, Conwy Mussels, Carmarthen Ham and Welsh Wine.
Farming is the backbone of rural communities across Wales and agriculture is an important sector in terms of the broader Welsh economy.
Currently, well over half of most Welsh farmer’s incomes come from the direct payments they receive through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Direct payments provide stability and security to farmers and are crucial in ensuring the vitality of Welsh farms and the wider rural economy.
The Welsh Labour Government intend phasing out direct payments when we leave the EU, which would have a devastating impact on the rural economy and the fabric of rural communities. A Plaid Cymru government will retain a direct payment scheme.
With regard to the wider local food system we aim to:
- increase procurement of Welsh food and drink amongst public services
- become a Global Good Food Nation, with an integrated Food Strategy, to develop sustainable local production and nutritious local consumption, supporting local food councils, local food hubs, food co-operatives and farmers markets and community cafes
- create a duty on local authorities to give due weight to local food security in their development plans, including the sufficient allocation of allotments and landshare for the localised production of food
- ensure the enjoyment of food, food production and food preparation is given due prominence in the school curriculum.
The Welsh fish and shellfish sector is worth £25 million to Wales and exports 90% of its produce. The vast majority catch shellfish, exporting them live to the continent or further afield via EU trade deals. Welsh capture fisheries, aquaculture producers and seafood supply chains are particularly vulnerable to any hold-ups in the transporting of their produce. If they are held up in ports, they can deteriorate and lose value. Any tariff barriers or non-tariff barriers would have an immense impact on their viability.
When we leave the EU, we will fight for frictionless trade so that this sector is not as adversely affected.