Reducing the standards the govern farming in Wales post-Brexit would leave the industry in a vulnerable position, according to a Welsh Government policymaker.

Andrew Slade, the Welsh Government’s director of agriculture, food and marine, favours an “outcomes and risk-based’’ approach to regulation after Wales leave the European Union.

But, speaking at an NFU Cymru seminar at the Royal Welsh Show, which explored the impact of Brexit on Welsh agriculture, he said: “That’s not to chuck away the standards we operate to now.

“It would be madness for us to try to reduce standards as it would leave us vulnerable in all sorts of ways.

“Wales is not the lowest cost producer of anything because we have a top-quality set of products and services, it is not in our interest to see a race to the bottom on regulation.’’

Stuart Morris, a former Brecon and Radnor NFU Cymru county chairman, issued a plea to government regulators to help agriculture remain competitive in a post-Brexit Wales by taking a sensible approach to rules and regulations.

Stuart Morris, who runs a sheep enterprise at Clyro, Powys, urged the Welsh Government to unburden farmers from unnecessary red tape.

Wales is the fourth most expensive producer of agriculture products in the world. “There are no prizes for being the dearest,’’ Mr Morris told the seminar.

“Cost control is going to be key for us going forward. If there is any silver lining to the exit process it is opportunities for reducing regulation.’’

The prospect of regulation governing nitrate application is currently a major source of concern for farmers in Wales.

A decision on whether to create a pan-Wales nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) or to limit the regulation to some regions only, including Pembrokeshire, is likely to be announced in the autumn.