Alan Davies AM, Minister for Natural Resources and Food
I am today introducing the Agricultural Sector (Wales) Bill.
The purpose of the Bill is to:
- Maintain the current system of statutory regulation for the engagement of agricultural workers in Wales that would cease to exist following the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales on 25 June 2013 and the revocation of the Agricultural Wages (England and Wales) Order 2012 from 1 October 2013.
- Preserve the provisions of the Agricultural Wages (England and Wales) Order 2012 in Wales beyond October 2013 and provide for enforcement of those provisions.
- Provide the Welsh Ministers with the power to establish an Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales.
- Enable an Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales to be established to carry out functions related to the operation of the agricultural sector, including promoting careers and advising the Welsh Ministers on other issues which may affect the agricultural industry.
- Assist in building the foundation for a resilient, sustainable and well-trained agricultural workforce in Wales.
- Promote professionalism and upskilling in the agricultural sector.
This Bill will preserve the current regime which is well established and well known by the agricultural industry in Wales but also provides the opportunity to build on and shape future policy according to the needs of the industry in Wales. It allows a level of flexibility regarding the composition and remit of the proposed Agricultural Advisory Panel to facilitate the effective functioning of the agriculture industry in Wales as a whole by recognising the important role farm workers play in providing a foundation for a resilient, sustainable and profitable agricultural industry for the future.
I am also today publishing a summary report of the consultation responses and each of the responses in full, to the Welsh Government’s consultation on The Future of the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) which closed on 26 June on the Welsh Government’s website.