by Glyn Roberts, FUW president
The FUW has called on the Welsh Government to take the lead in initiating plans for more sustainable and supportive public procurement policies ahead of Brexit. It is within the gift of both the Welsh and UK Government to start planning for more sustainable and supportive public procurement policies – an issue I have already raised with both the First Minister Carwyn Jones and the former Prime Minister David Cameron. hiding behind state-aid rules is no longer an option: our schools, hospitals, armed forces and all other public services deserve access to the top quality produce that we grow here in Wales, and our farmers and rural economies deserve recognition for what they produce. I am therefore calling for immediate action to initiate draft legislation which will mandate the procurement of British produce by the UK public Sector. This will support rather than spite the sectors which lie at the heart of our rural economies and bring innumerable benefits to our nations. In these current times of austerity, there are real concerns that our Governments do not have the capacity to deal with the day-to-day work, let alone the planning needed for Brexit, but in the FUW’s mind undertaking such groundwork is not an option – it is a necessity. And this is where the FUW can play such an important role; we know and understand the challenges faced by family farms in Wales. We understand that they have a huge part to play in the wider rural economy and we know that #FarmingMatters. I want to strongly point out that the reason #FarmingMatters is because it matters to our food security, matters to our supply chain, matters to our children and also matters to our culture. We must ensure that everyone in a position of Government, and opposition influence is aware of this importance. Now and always – our commitment is to promote the importance of #FarmingMatters to our economy.