With just under a year to go until Brexit, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths will this week be in New Zealand to strengthen links between both countries
During the visit, the Cabinet Secretary will visit the Parliament to attend its Primary Production Select Committee and meet her Ministerial counterparts to discuss a broad range of issues across her portfolio.
The Cabinet Secretary will also visit the Auckland and Manawatu regions to visit dairy, sheep and beef farms and hold discussions with a wide range of representatives from these sectors.
The visit provides an opportunity to discover what Wales can learn from a small, global-facing country such as New Zealand and also discuss opportunities for both countries to work together. The Cabinet Secretary will meet representatives of the winegrowers’ industry which has seen a significant growth in the last forty years. The Cabinet Secretary will also meet with the CEO’s of the main beef and lamb exporting bodies and with dairy trade organisations such as Fonterra to see what Wales can learn from their food and drink industry.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the Cabinet Secretary said:
“I am pleased to be visiting New Zealand to strengthen the links between our countries. Like Wales, New Zealand is a small outward-facing, globally trading nation and I believe there is a lot we can learn from each other.
“It is now just under a year before we leave the European Union. For decades, the management of our land has been shaped by the EU. This has greatly influenced the structure and performance of our agricultural sector.
“Brexit brings significant and swift changes – the combination of leaving the Common Agricultural Policy and new trading arrangements mean simply maintaining the status quo is untenable.
“I recently published the five core principles for the future of our land and the people who manage it and these will form the basis of our future policy. I have launched a new phase of intensive engagement to develop initial proposals and I see this visit to New Zealand as a key part of that engagement.
“This visit will enable us to learn from their food and drinks industry – a key sector for us post-Brexit. It is also an opportunity to hear about New Zealand’s experiences in managing significant change in agricultural policy which is particularly timely as we work to secure a resilient and thriving industry in Wales after leaving the EU.”