The former NFU director general Kevin Roberts will lead a study that aims to review Welsh farming’s ability to overcome adverse events. The main reason behind the review is the unseasonably heavy snow that fell in March and the way farmers couldn’t cope with the circumstances.
Alun Davies said that the review will focus on hill farmers as many of these were reported to have lost hundreds of animals during the lambing season. The initial findings of the report are expected to be revealed in July.
North and mid Wales were hit by heavy snowfall for a period of several days in March, with large drifts in many areas stopping farmers from being able to reach their sheep. The situation was made even worse due to the fact that it occurred in the middle of the lambing season.
In the following weeks after the snowfall farmers were still finding bodies of animals that had been buried by the blizzards.
The rules on burying fallen livestock on farmland were temporarily relaxed due to the adverse conditions, which made the collection of bodies by road impossible. And, after he relaxed the laws, Alun Davies has now commissioned this review.
The review will take a look at the response by the farming industry as well as the local government and farming charities. The risk management skills of the industry and its related sectors will also be under examination and it will also be looking at whether the current models of farming in Wales are “robust and valuable”.
Mr Davies told the BBC: "The review will inform the development of my thinking on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Wales over the next seven years, and, in particular the shape of the next Rural Development Plan.
"I also expect that Kevin's findings will also feed into our collective work on responsibility and cost-sharing, and the broader 'Working Smarter' agenda.
"Given that contingent events rarely respect administrative borders, I have also asked Kevin to consider the Welsh dimension to any matters that might best be addressed at a GB, UK or EU level."