Agricultural Policy

FUW 2021 Welsh Senedd Election Manifesto

Ahead of the 2016 Welsh Senedd elections, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) warned of the unprecedented challenges facing the incoming Senedd Members and Government. Since then those challenges have not only materialised but been exacerbated and added to.

In the FUW 2021 Welsh Senedd Election Manifesto, the Union continues to be clear that Wales’ family farms lie at the centre of our rural economy, culture and landscape, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of businesses involved in the Welsh food supply industry, and making innumerable other contributions to the well-being of Welsh and UK residents - benefits central to which is the production of food, our most precious commodity alongside water.

Future policies must reflect the need to mitigate climate change and protect our environment but such aspirations must be tempered by the knowledge that sweeping changes that undermine our family farms and food production will merely shift production to countries with lower animal welfare standards and higher global and environmental footprints.

The FUW also remains frustrated about the lack of bespoke Welsh policies regarding future farming scheme proposals and tackling water quality issues put forward by the current Welsh Government, and the distinct feeling that those who govern us from Cardiff Bay are now more remote from and indifferent to our rural communities than ever.

Welsh Government scrap rates support for privately owned hydropower schemes

From April 2021, the Welsh Government has changed its Non-domestic (business) Rates Support for Hydropower grant scheme to only supporting community owned hydropower projects with their rates bills, a scheme that has previously provided £1m of support to the sector over the last four years.

The grant gives businesses in Wales relief from high business rates that hydropower schemes are eligible for.

The timing of the withdrawal of this support will have a significant and detrimental effect. The British Hydropower Association (BHA) believe this will affect some 50 non-community schemes - 75% of the small scale hydropower sector - and could result in many becoming unviable.

This is a short-sighted decision and undermines the Welsh Government’s own commitment to tackle climate change. The Welsh Government is clear in telling farmers that they need to diversify to be more resilient and also promotes renewable energy as being critical to meeting our climate change obligations, making the decision to remove support from those farmers who have diversified, and who are producing renewable energy both confusing and concerning. This is even more relevant given that COP26 is being held in the UK this year.

State of Natural Resources Report for Wales 2020 lacks recognition for farmers

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have recently published the second phase of the State of Natural Resources Report for Wales 2020 (SoNaRR2020). SoNaRR is a requirement under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, and this is the second SoNaRR report, with the first being published in 2016 as a baseline on natural resources in Wales.

SoNaRR2020 looks at the status and trends of natural resources, building on a number of Welsh, UK and global assessments. It looks at the risks those trends pose to our ecosystems and to the long-term social, cultural and economic well-being of Wales, in terms defined by the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

SoNaRR 2020 is made up of a number of reports focusing on broad ecosystems, cross cutting themes and natural resources.

The headline findings from SoNaRR2020 are:

Blue Peter’s Green Badge campaign - Union stands up for children and farmers

The FUW was once again frustrated with the BBC’s stance on excluding red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet and especially angered that this time it was aimed at children as part of the Blue Peter Green Badge campaign. Wasting no time, we addressed the issue by writing to Blue Peter editor Ellen Evans and BBC Director General Tim Davie.

In his letter, FUW President Glyn Roberts said:

“Iconic programmes like Blue Peter have been watched by children all over the country with great enthusiasm and there is no doubt that it has great influence on their behaviour and opinions, with many children aiming to receive one of the coveted badges. That makes this latest campaign even more concerning, in that you (the BBC) are actively encouraging our children to eliminate red meat from their diet and insinuating that red meat production is bad for the environment.

“As a public service broadcaster, the BBC has a responsibility to provide an impartial argument. This is all the more important when communicating to children and the information on your website and in this campaign does not fulfil that responsibility.”

In her response, Ellen Evans stated that Blue Peter had changed its ’go meat-free’ messaging, but concerns remain that the program is still encouraging children to choose a ’supersized pledge’ that promotes cutting meat.

More details can be found here.

Union takes action against Peta advert in Daily Post

FUW members were angered by a full page People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) advert that appeared in the Daily Post on 24th March 2021, calling on members of the public to become whistleblowers and submit photos, videos or written evidence of animal welfare violations on dairy farms such as split hooves, inability to stand up, untreated lameness, sores possibly caused by a lack of bedding, untreated mastitis, underweight claves, faeces coating cows bodies and mistreatment during artificial insemination to name just a few.

In response to the advert, the FUW contacted the editorial team at the Daily Post, stressing that publishing an advert that encourages the public to trespass on farmland is not just stressful to the animals, but is also dangerous for the person approaching livestock - especially as many cows will be with calves at this time of year. In our correspondence we stressed that as this advert coincided with the relaxation of Covid travel restrictions and the Easter school holidays, further increasing concerns that members of the general public might venture into situations that are dangerous to them in order to try and comply with PETA’s inflammatory request.

In a letter to the editorial, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “It is entirely possible that individuals taking action as a result of this advert will misunderstand the situation and such misunderstandings could easily damage the reputation of the industry if the general public decide to share out of context videos and photos based on their partial understanding of what constitutes proper care for farm animals.

COVID-19 - Gwybodaeth Bwysig i’n haelodau a chwsmeriaid

Yn dilyn gwasgariad y Coronafeirws (COVID-19), rydym wedi penderfynu amddiffyn aelodau, cwsmeriaid a chyd-aelodau staff trwy gau pob swyddfa FUW. 

Bydd pob aelod o staff yn gweithio oddi ar ein safleoedd am y dyfodol rhagweladwy, golygir y bydd ein timau yn parhau i gynnig yr holl wasanaethau dros ffon/e-bost/skype neu ffyrdd eraill o gyfathrebu o bell. 

Dylai aelodau a chwsmeriaid barhau i gysylltu gyda ni yn yr un modd ag arfer, gellir cysylltu â’r staff trwy ddefnyddio’r rhifau ffôn arferol.  

Byddwn yn sicrhau bod safon ein gwasanaethau yn parhau. Caiff apwyntiadau SAF/IACS barhau fel yr arfer ond fe cant eu gwneud dros y ffôn. 

Gweler manylion cyswllt eich swyddfa leol yma: https://fuw.org.uk/cy/cysylltwch

 

Linciau pwysig ynglŷn â'r Coronafeirws:

 

Mae Hwb TB wedi paratoi rhestr o gwestiynnau a ofynnir yn aml parthed sut caiff prosesau TB eu heffeihtio gan y feirws: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Tractor Coch (Red Tractor) dwieddariad yma: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Cymdeithas Arwerthwyr Da-byw - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Busnes Cymru (sy’n cynnwys gwybdooaeth am gefnogaeth i fusnesau oherwydd y Coronafeirws): https://businesswales.gov.wales/cy/cyngor-coronafeirws

Cynllun benthyg Coronafeirws oherwydd ymyriad i fusnes ar gael trwy fenthycwyr sy'n cymryd rhan: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/  
 
Canllawiau Cymdeithas Genedlaethol y Contractwyr Amaethyddol (NAAC) ar Coronafeirws: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/
 
Gwasanaethau Cofnodi Llaeth Cenedlaethol 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus