Farmers from Flintshire recently came together to discuss a wide range of #FarmingMatters with their local Assembly Member Hannah Blythyn.
The meeting was hosted by FUW Flintshire member John Worthington at Maes y Groes, Cilcain, where he is the third generation to farm the land.
John, together with his wife Jean and son Gareth, runs a 200 acre beef and sheep farm. They further grow corn for use on the farm and root crops. The farm is also part of the Glastir Entry and Glastir Advanced scheme.
Speaking after the visit, John said: “I would like to thank Hannah Blythyn for meeting us and discussing the many challenges we face as an industry. We raised issues such as lack of broadband, the importance of the rural economy and funding for agriculture post 2020 with her. It gave us farmers a great opportunity to connect with our elected Assembly Member and talk about our hopes and fears. I would also like to thank the businesses who came to support our event, helping us to explain why farming matters so much.”
FUW Flintshire County Chairman Eurwyn Roberts highlighted some of the problems farmers living on the border to England face, saying: “The Wales-England border is three times the length of the Scotland-England border and there are around 500 Wales-England cross border farms.
“Such farms have to deal with additional complexity in terms of different sets of rules either side of the border. E.g. different animal movement rules, different reporting systems, different environmental rules etc.
“Payments to such farmers are regularly delayed by months – usually due to poor Rural Payment Agency (England) performance and consistently place them at a significant disadvantage compared with those who are paid within an acceptable timescales by Rural Payments Wales. Many of those farmer affected may have to borrow money, pay additional interest on loans, and be unable to make the most of market prices buy stock or produce at a time when prices are lower.”
Hannah Blythyn further heard that solutions such as allowing holdings to be treated as purely Welsh from an administrative point of view should be considered.
Following the meeting Hannah Blythyn AM said: “It was good to have the opportunity to hear first-hand about issues affecting farming and rural communities in Delyn. I am committed to working together to secure a sustainable future for farming.”