The Welsh Government must use "every tool in the box" to minimise the impact for farmers who will lose substantial amounts over the coming years as a result of the adoption of a three-tier payment system, said the Farmers' Union of Wales today.
Responding to Natural Resources and Food Minister Alun Davies' announcement of how millions of pounds of European agricultural funding will be shared between farmers in Wales to develop the industry, the union's president Emyr Jones said: "The announcement comes as a major hit for many farmers who will lose significant amounts under the new system."
Speaking after a meeting with Mr Davies to discuss the new payment system, Mr Jones added: "While we have repeatedly expressed concerns about the amount of preparatory work done to investigate payment systems which would reduce the impact of a new payment system, it has to be accepted that whatever system was implemented would have led to large numbers of businesses losing significant sums."
Mr Jones said he was particularly concerned about the location of the moorland line which would reduce payments for many thousands.
"However, given that the minister has made his decision, he must now look at using every tool in the box to reduce the impact of today's decision."
Mr Jones said that critical amongst those tools was the use of Rural Development monies to implement meaningful schemes which would boost farm incomes.
"Our objection to his decision to transfer 15 per cent of payments to Pillar 2 has been well publicised. The focus now must be on using Pillar 2 to return funds to farmers, and it is imperative that we hear a positive response to the Kevin Roberts review from the minister over the coming weeks.
"All the stops need to be pulled out to reduce the cost of regulations and red tape, and we need to see schemes which deliver increases in farm incomes which make up for the losses many will incur as a result of today's decision."