The Farmers' Union of Wales today welcomed a National Assembly report calling for the Assembly Government to support a strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which protects farm incomes and food production.

FUW president Gareth Vaughan said "The report makes a large number of robust recommendations which are in line with the evidence submitted by the union.

"I welcome the fact that the committee recognises the CAP as a framework which should continue to support our rural communities while ensuring the key challenges of our age are addressed, in particular food security."

The report makes 18 recommendations and calls on the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) to lobby Europe to maintain the current CAP budget while keeping food security and the provision of public goods as its core objectives.

"The committee also agreed with the union's view that support in less favoured areas should be maintained and incorporated in Pillar 1 of the CAP.

"We have expressed significant concerns over the past year regarding WAG's apparent lack of direction regarding the CAP and have called for the CAP stakeholder group to be reconvened.

"We therefore fully endorse the committee's view that the stakeholder group should be re-established in order to inform WAG on a policy which is of critical importance to Wales's economy.

"The government should now regard these recommendations as a guiding light based as it is upon the significant evidence submitted by the FUW and other stakeholders.

"We have demonstrated the importance of the CAP to Wales's economy and Europe's future food and environmental security, and the committee has agreed that our government should be fully engaged both with grass root organisations and with Brussels in order to argue for what is best for Wales, Europe, and every EU citizen."