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Farm unions to meet Welsh government as protests loom

Thousands of people in a livestock mart
Farmers, industry members and supporters packed themselves in at a protest held at Carmarthen Showground

Farming leaders and the Welsh government are to meet as the prospect of protests loom.

Rural affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has invited leaders of NFU Cymru and the Farmers' Union of Wales to discuss their members' concerns.

About 3,000 farmers gathered at Carmarthen showground, in Nantyci, to discuss planned reforms on Thursday.

NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said he was glad Ms Griffiths recognised their concerns.

The Welsh government's new farm subsidy scheme is set to come in from 2025.

To be eligible for the payments farms must ensure 10% of land is planted with trees and 10% is treated as wildlife habitat.

Unions argue the changes will be unworkable for many and the scheme's checklist of requirements will mean more paperwork.

Mr Jones said: "It is clear that the current sustainable farming scheme consultation and the proposals laid out in it are causing a deep sense of anguish and concern as members contemplate the future scheme and the implications on their own individual business."

He said the upcoming meeting was arranged following a separate one this week.

The Welsh government said: "The minister regularly meets with stakeholders, including the farming unions.

"A meeting has been scheduled to discuss the roadshows organised by the Welsh government and both unions regarding the sustainable farming scheme consultation, once they have been completed."