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Volume 586: debated on Wednesday 22 October 2014

Agriculture is a key industry in Wales, and I recognise the challenges that many Welsh farmers have faced this year. That is why the Government fought hard to achieve the best deal for Wales in the negotiations on the common agricultural policy, and why I welcome the forecast of an increase in Welsh farm income for 2013-14.

What discussions has the Secretary of State had with the Welsh Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about an action plan to help Welsh farmers, who are being hit by a supermarket price war and Russian sanctions?

The Government recognise that Welsh agriculture produces some of the best quality products in the UK. That is why we have talked to farming representatives throughout the summer, and why my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister became the first ever serving Prime Minister to visit the Royal Welsh show this summer. We stay in close contact with farming organisations. We are clear that supermarkets need to work with the farming industry to deliver better returns for farmers.

There is an opportunity for a free hit on the agricultural sector in Wales. If nobody wishes to seize it, and as we are all present and correct, we will move on to questions to the Prime Minister.