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Rural Wales Want Farmers to be Supported to Tackle the Climate and Nature

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WWF Cymru survey shows that 60% of rural Wales agree that Welsh Government support should only be given to farmers actively working to protect nature and climate. 

As the new Agriculture Bill reaches the Senedd this week a new survey commissioned by WWF Cymru has found that people across rural Wales have demonstrated support for a major change in how Welsh farmers are supported.

The survey of 1,000 respondents carried out by Opinion Research Services( ORS), the first of its kind to comprehensively survey residents of rural Wales, reveals that 96% of residents in rural Wales agree that Welsh farmers have an important role to play in protecting nature and 88% agree that farmers have an important role in tackling climate change.

At the same time, only around a third of residents (34%) agree that farmers are already doing enough for nature and the majority (60%) agree that government financial support should only be given if farmers make changes to protect nature and the climate.

This is in in stark contrast to the current area-based payments and is a timely insight into what people in rural Wales think farming policy should be delivering.

Rhian Brewster, Head of Communications at WWF Cymru said; 

“These results come at a critical moment for Wales with the arrival of the Agriculture Bill in the Senedd. This survey shows that most people across rural Wales want to change the way our food system works, from farm to fork.

We, along with a high percentage of residents in north, west and mid Wales, agree that farmers should only receive financial support from the government if they make changes to protect nature and tackle climate change. WWF Cymru believes we need to support Welsh farmers to adopt agroecology, including regenerative farming as an approach which will build a better future for people, nature, and climate. This vital transformation can only be achieved by bold changes to agriculture payments to support farmers to make this change. The new Agriculture Bill gives us a once in a generation chance to set Wales on a path to a more sustainable future.”

The charity urges Welsh Government to ensure the new Agriculture Bill incentivises farmers through the Sustainable Farming Scheme to adopt nature and climate friendly farming regenerative practices.

This is the first survey of its kind and was undertaken, by WWF Cymru, to better understand rural peoples’ views on food and farming ahead of major legislative decisions in the Senedd.