Agricultural Policy

FUW Host General Election Hustings & General Election Results Are In

The Farmers’ Union of Wales played its part in supporting constituencies across Wales by organising, in partnership with NFU and YFC on occasions, a total of 12 hustings to allow the people of Wales to question their respective MPs.  Specifically, it provided an opportunity for FUW members to question the candidates on their plans for agriculture both nationally and locally.

The Conserative Party won 365 seats across the UK, 47 more than in 2017, while Labour won 203 seats, the Scotish National Party (SNP) 48 seats and the Liberal Democrats just 11 seats. Plaid Cymru retained their four seats in Wales.

So where do we stand now?  Briefly, it seems now that as the Conservatives have a majority Government, the revised Withdrawal Agreement is likely to be passed by Parliament and we will formally leave the EU on the 31st January 2020 and enter a transition period until the end of 2020 during which all negotiations and implementation of policies such as border controls must be completed.

As well as continuing to argue for a close trading arrangement with the EU, the FUW will also be fighting any moves which introduce unfair competition from farmers in other countries, especially where those countries have health, hygiene, welfare and environmental standards which would be illegal here in the UK.  Such priorities relating directly to Brexit are made clear in the FUW’s 2019 Manifesto, which also highlights key priorities such as long term funding for agriculture, how climate change must be tackled without compromising food production and the need to ensure TB is recognised as a threat to international trade.

The FUW is committed to lobbying and working with all those in Westminster to ensure that Welsh agriculture and Wales’ family farms receive the attention and respect that they warrant.

FUW Calls for Independent Review of Bovine TB Data

At a recent meeting with First Minister, Mark Drakeford, and Minister for Environmental, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, the Farmers’ Union of Wales called for an independent review of the current Bovine TB evidence base.

Alongside the call for an independent review, the FUW presented the First Minister with the latest TB statistics for Wales, including the significant rise in the number of cattle slaughtered.  The First Minister also heard how the TB testing regime used in an Enhanced Management Herd can mean 5 weeks of work just to test cattle on a family farm over an 18 month period. 

During the meeting, the FUW called for an independent review of the current bovine TB evidence base with a view to assessing the suitability of current wildlife control measures and to make recommendations on future badger culling policies in Wales.   The union called for funding to be made available through the EU transition fund. 

If accepted, the review would benefit from evidence of bovine TB in wildlife, as reported by Badger Found Dead, spoligotyping to identify the TB strain and the potential of whole genome sequencing in cattle and badgers. 

The FUW’s call for an independent review by analysts with no connection to the issue is an approach which has been utilised successfully in other sectors.  

The First Minister was also reminded of the substantial physical, mental and financial pressures conferred upon farmers due to bovine TB and the potential risks that it may bring to future trade relations.

Expression of Interest Window Dates

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Glastir Advanced, Commons or Organic Contracts Those who have contracts that are due to expire at the end of 2019 will have been offered a contract renewal.  Those who haven’t yet accepted or rejected the contract renewal offer on your RPW Online account should have received a letter explaining that the deadline to do so has been extended until 31 December 2019.  It is advised however to complete it by 20 December as the Customer Contact Centre (0300 062 5004) is closed thereafter 20 December 2019
Glastir Capital Works Check your RPW online accounts for any notifications of unclaimed Capital Works.  All unclaimed Capital Works must be completed by 31 December 2019 and claimed no later than 28 January 2020. 31 December 2019
Water Abstraction Licences

You must apply for a water abstraction licence if you take more than 20 cubic meters (4,400 gallons) per day from a surface or groundwater source.  Continuing to abstract this amount of water without submitting an application after 2019 will be a criminal offence.
See here for more information.

31 December 2019

Sheep and Goat annual inventory

It’s that time of year again to complete your Sheep and Goat annual inventory.  All keepers will receive a paper form in the post throughout December.  The annual inventory must be filled in with the number of sheep and goats you own on 1 January 2020.  The form must be returned by 30 January 2020.
For further guidance, please click here.
30 January 2020
BPS Transfer of Entitlements You can now transfer BPS entitlements through sale, lease or inheritance.  It must be accessed through the RPW online account.  The recipient of entitlements transferred by sale or lease must meet the Active Farmer requirements (see SAF Rules for details). 30 April 2020

Public Appointments to HCC Board

The Welsh Government is inviting public appointments for four members of the Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) Board.

It is essential for one of the four positions to be filled by a fluent Welsh speaker and writer.  You will be required for 12 days over a 12 month period and to attend Board meetings which are normally held in Aberystwyth.

See here for further information.  Applications close on 5 January 2020.

FUW Meets Farming Minister to Discuss Tomlinson’s Collapse 

Earlier this month, the Farmers’ Union of Wales met with the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, to discuss the recent collapse of Tomlinson’s Dairies..

The closure of the dairy and the subsequent refusal to collect milk came in with almost immediate effect and left many dairy producers in Wales scrambling to find another processor for their milk.

The FUW remains extremely concerned for its affected members. Our producers were offered no prior warning and the FUW is extremely disappointed that farmers were left in a predicament where they had no one to collect their milk.  

The loss of yet another major processor in Wales is a severe blow to farmers, workers and the industry as a whole at a time when significant efforts are being made to bolster and build on our unique Welsh brand.

The collapse of Tomlinson’s comes after a significant £22 million funding boost in 2017 which saw an expansion of their cold storage facilities and the creation of 70 jobs. 
The immediate concern of the FUW is the desperate situation facing affected producers; some of whom are owed many tens of thousands of pounds.  The FUW has discussed short-term measures with the Minister including prioritising BPS payments and reducing inspection burdens for those affected. . 


 

Contact

Farmers' Union of Wales
Llys Amaeth
Plas Gogerddan
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 3BT

01970 820820
post@fuw.org.uk

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