The Implications of Brexit for Agriculture, Rural Areas and Land Use in Wales

Dwyer, Janet C (2018) The Implications of Brexit for Agriculture, Rural Areas and Land Use in Wales. Project Report. Wales Centre for Public Policy, Cardiff.

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This report is a think-piece to inform ongoing policy development by the Welsh Government working in partnership with stakeholder groups. It synthesises evidence on the state of agriculture and rural areas in Wales with the available understanding of stages, timing and potential outcomes of the Brexit process, identifying implications and potential priorities. Our scenario analysis suggests that the most likely changes in trading conditions would tend to disadvantage the competitive position of Welsh agriculture vis-à-vis its main current markets and trading competitors (particularly in sheep and beef). Further, we may anticipate generally reduced levels and scope of public funding by comparison with those the sector has enjoyed in recent years. However, within these challenging probable change scenarios, there are opportunities if farm businesses are enabled to respond adaptively. Some farms and sectors face much greater challenges than others, which implies uneven structural change across significant areas: - a decline in the economic viability of sheep production is likely, with these farm businesses especially vulnerable to changes in both market access arrangements and public funding support – this could increase pressure on rural services; - accordingly, north and west Wales are likely to face stronger negative impacts than the south and east, where more potentially positive and diverse impacts can be expected among dairy, horticultural, mixed and other farm types. How key food and forestry processors and retailers respond to the Brexit process, and their willingness to invest in Wales and Welsh products, will be an important factor. Their patterns of operation may change in response to shifting economic and market conditions. Managing the challenges faced is key, to prevent undesirable impacts on natural capital, landscape quality and community identity. Three policy directions are recommended: - Fostering resilience in farm and other land management businesses; supporting successful adaptation, enhanced efficiency, diversification, adding value and inter-generational transfer, as well as some moves from farming into other sectors; - Investing in longer-term partnerships between government, food retailers, rural service providers, and commercial lenders to promote stronger business networks and SME infrastructure across Wales; - Designing a future funding framework to support natural resource management and rural vitality in Wales.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: This report is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brexit Agriculture Land Use Wales Impact
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Chris Rayfield
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2018 14:52

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