Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Wales inquiry report launch

21st July 2020

Today we launch our independent Wales inquiry report – Wales Field Guide for Future Generations (fersiwn Cymru) – online at 2-3pm, as part of the Green Recovery Wales festival.

It poses critical questions around the urgent and green recovery work needed in the run-up to May 2021 Senedd elections, and calls for Wales to seize this critical moment to resource and implement its forward-looking policy, to ensure that the nation can produce healthy, affordable food on sustainable farms in a landscape that is managed for the needs of future generations.

The report draws from our inquiry’s conversations with people across the nation and illustrates the incredible work already underway. These inspiring stories show a surge in energy and appetite for new ways of sourcing and growing food and a new appreciation for the role of the countryside.

One example is the story of Y Felin, a family-run flour mill that used its local supply chain to adapt quickly to the surge in home baking over lockdown, enabling it to answer customer demand from across the country when the larger mills could not.

This story is one of many in the report that highlight the pressing need for the implementation of Wales’ Future Generations Act to be urgently accelerated to support people already working towards a green recovery.

We also propose an ambitious three-year work programme for the next stage of our Wales inquiry, which will convene a range of public bodies, businesses, campaigning and community groups to deliver four main goals:

  • Ensuring that the need for fair and healthy food systems is integrated into thinking and decisions about well-being, land use and resources
  • Investigating the potential for agroecology in Wales
  • Enquiring whether all public spending is aligned coherently for Welsh policy intentions
  • Explaining the resources needed for a just transition to more sustainable food and farming systems and flourishing rural economies.

Our Chief Executive, Sue Pritchard, has welcomed the report:

“Right across Wales, everyone knows someone who is already working to keep our communities going and making changes that will build a better future - shopping for neighbours, finding new ways to deliver farm produce to our doorsteps, cooking more and wasting less, enjoying time in the countryside. But so often this can feel like hard work, when policies should be making it easier to do the right things. The Food, Farming & Countryside Commission’s findings show that the bold policy and legal frameworks have never been more needed. The challenge now is to put this legislation to work on the ground, so that the urgent changes we need to allow our communities to recover can happen at pace.”

The Chair of our Wales Inquiry, Jane Davidson, also reflected:

“In Wales, we have a particular opportunity because of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. As chair of the Wales inquiry, I am looking forward to working with a wide range of partners to foster the rapid change needed for Wales to able to produce healthy, affordable food on sustainable farms in a landscape that is managed for the needs of future generations”.

The report will be launched online at the Green Recovery Wales festival, 21st July, 2-3pm. We invite you to join the launch panel event, chaired by Jane Davidson, who leads the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission’s work in Wales. Panellists include Sir David Henshaw (Natural Resources Wales), Patrick Holden (Sustainable Food Trust), Ann Jones (National Federation of Women’s Institutes) and Pamela Mason (Public Health Nutritionist). There will be a pre-recorded contribution from Lesley Griffiths MS (Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs).

Watch the event on YouTube here

Download the full report Wales Field Guide for Future Generations (fersiwn Cymru)