Earlier this month, the Farmers Union of Wales met with Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, in order to discuss how the aims of the Well-being of Future Generations Act could positively impact on both public procurement and other issues such as bovine TB regulation.
The Well-being of Future Generations Act requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.
Under the Well-being of Future Generations Act, the Welsh Government is obligated to take account of the long-term impact of their decision making. Given that the current regulation pertaining to a bovine TB breakdown can lead to loss of stock, problems with cash flow, costs of housing and feeding additional stock, loss of business control and uncertainty over the future, there will inevitably be an impact on the emotional well-being of farming families and the long-term success of the business. However, the true impact is likely to have been underestimated.
The FUW’s very real concern is that policies which are not future-proofed will undoubtedly increase mental health issues and poverty among the farming community in Wales and this is in direct opposition to the obligations and aims of the Act.
Given that mental health is inextricably linked to farm business sustainability and solvency, we must fully understand the economic consequences of a bovine TB breakdown in order to future-proof farm businesses.