Farming unions have responded positively to the change in timeline for Welsh Government's controversial new farming subsidy scheme.

In a written statement made on Tuesday 14th May, the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies MS, confirmed that the proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) transition will now start in 2026.

Confirmation was also given that the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be available in 2025.

The news has been well received by NFU Cymru and the Farmers' Union of Wales along with the National Sheep Association.

Welcoming the announcement, NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “We very much share the thoughts of the Cabinet Secretary that this scheme must not be introduced until it is ready. Neither farming families nor government can afford to have a scheme that fails to deliver on our vision for food, nature, climate and communities.

“This is a scheme that will underpin food production, our farmed environment, our communities, our rural businesses who are dependent on a thriving farming sector, our language and our culture for a generation to come. I welcome the commitment from the Cabinet Secretary to take the time to listen to those impacted by the proposals and to work in partnership on the future development of the scheme.

“The Cabinet Secretary has made a sensible and pragmatic decision to continue with the BPS for 2025. This early decision provides much needed stability and certainty to a sector that has faced significant challenges this past year, while also allowing the time needed for the Ministerial Roundtable to work through the areas that have been identified during the consultation period as needing further consideration."

FUW President Ian Rickman, also welcomed the news saying: “Since the last consultation, we have consistently called on the Welsh Government to extend the BPS at current levels for next year given the amount of change required in regards to the Sustainable Farming Scheme within the proposed time frame.

“This announcement on maintaining the BPS alongside an SFS preparatory phase next year is a major step in the right direction. It will provide both stability for farming businesses and a solid foundation for meaningful discussions.

“The development of the SFS represents the most significant change in agricultural policy in Wales for decades. It is therefore reassuring that the Cabinet Secretary maintains that the Scheme will not be introduced until it is ready.”