HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 c850
9. Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York)

What representations he has received from tenant farmers in Wales on proposed reform of the common agricultural policy. [129544]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Don Touhig)

The hon. Lady takes a keen interest in this matter, about which she asked me questions in February and April. I understand her persistence. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received no representations from tenant farmers in Wales on the proposed reform. However, he has regular meetings with the Assembly First Minister, and I also meet the Assembly Minister responsible for the environment and for agricultural matters.

Miss McIntosh

Does the Minister still think that common agricultural policy reform will happen, given the collapse of the Cancun talks? How will tenant farmers benefit from the rural development strand of that reform?

Mr. Touhig

The issues relating to tenant farmers are complex, and my colleagues in the Assembly are consulting farming unions and other stakeholders on CAP reform. All sides in Wales have welcomed the reform package as a significant step in sustaining the Welsh farming industry. I shall spend two days next week in mid-Wales visiting Welsh producers, promoting Welsh foods and products, and visiting Welsh farms to obtain a first-hand understanding of some of the difficulties that our farmers face. The reforms that we are pushing for will benefit the industry.