Transition to Sustainable Farming Scheme delayed to 2026

In Wales, the transition from the Basic Payment Scheme to the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) will be delayed until 2026, according to a statement released by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & Climate Change, Huw Irranca-Davies, on Tuesday the 14th May.

Wales Environment Link (WEL), of which CIEEM is a member, have released the following statement on X (formerly Twitter):

It’s extremely disappointing to see the Sustainable Farming Scheme delayed for a year — 1 in 6 species in Wales are at risk of extinction, and nature can’t wait much longer. This also means that nature-friendly farmers, who are already on lower payments with Habitat Wales than previous schemes, are looking at another year of being under funded.

However, it is important to get it right and this is at least a chance to ensure that all tiers of the Scheme are launched together and that communication and information is improved to bring all farmers on board.

The nature and climate emergencies affect everyone and have already been disrupting farming incomes; public money for environmentally friendly practices should ensure a reliable income whilst also bringing back Welsh nature.


In his statement, the Cabinet Secretary has said that development of proposals for further Optional and Collaborative Actions — tiers of the SFS which have the most potential for nature benefits — will be a focus of a Ministerial Roundtable of stakeholders which will be established to progress the Scheme.