FUW Glamorgan and Ogmore MP share trade deal concerns

Members of the Farmers’ Union of Wales’ Glamorgan Branch have raised concerns regarding the impact of trade deals on the farming community and wider rural community in a meeting with Ogmore MP Chris Elmore.

Speaking after the meeting, FUW Glamorgan Chair Richard Walker said: “Mr Elmore represents a large number of farmers in the Ogmore constituency and both FUW and Mr Elmore share acute concerns regarding the impact of trade deals on farmers and rural communities in Ogmore and across Wales.”

Mr Walker said the UK Government’s recent announcement of an agreement in principle with New Zealand that would phase out tariffs on imports of lamb and other food products was a major concern for Welsh farmers and added to concerns following the announcement in June of a similar agreement with Australia.

“This is yet another very one sided trade deal agreed in principle by the UK Government where the other country will be the overwhelming beneficiaries, the economic benefits for the UK are negligible and there could be serious adverse impacts for Welsh farmers and the communities and supply chains they support,” said Mr Walker.

“The fact that trade deals that further open the door to food imports from the other side of the world are being reached with little more than lip service being paid to environmental issues while the world is deep in discussions on how to tackle climate change is simply wrong,” he added.

Mr Walker said the concerns of the FUW and the Ogmore MP were very much aligned on this issue, and he welcomed Mr Elmore’s commitment to highlighting the damage that such a deal could cause if agreed by the UK Parliament.

Mr Elmore said: “I had an extremely constructive meeting with FUW members representing farmers in my constituency and across Wales as a whole, and share their grave concerns about the value of the trade deals being agreed by the UK Government and the damage they could cause for those involved in the food and farming industry.