Agricultural Policy

News in Brief June 2020

i) Chair appointed for New Ruminant Health and Welfare Group
Nigel Miller has been appointed as the Chair of the new Ruminant Health and Welfare Group (RHAWG) for a two year term.

Mr Miller is a former vet and NFU Scotland President. The RHAWG has been established to tackle important diseases of ruminant livestock and contains a variety of stakeholders, including the FUW. The first meeting of the group is expected shortly.

ii) Retail sales of UK beef increased during pandemic
Retail sales data from Kantar Worldpanel show that the total spend on beef during the 12-week period up to 17th May increased by nearly 27 percent year on year.

Industry campaigns encouraging consumers to purchase more prime cuts, such as steaks and joints, had a positive effect on sales. However the uplift in retail sales can only partly make up for the disruption caused following the closure of the foodservice sector during the pandemic.

iii) New Zealand farmers vote to continue DairyNZ funding 
Farmers in New Zealand have voted to continue paying towards DairyNZ. DairyNZ invests dairy producer money into a wide range of activities, such as research and development and also provides advocacy services.

Nearly 12,000 dairy farmers pay the 3.6c per kg Milk Solid levy and 69% of the 6,500 or so respondents voted in favour of continuing to pay for the DairyNZ service.

SAF preliminary check letter notice to Members

Welsh Government has recently issued SAF Preliminary Check Letters on farmers' RPW Online accounts where they believe errors may have been made on the Single Application Form (SAF). Farmers have until the 20th of July to consider the information in the letters and respond to avoid potential penalties.

Members are also reminded that if they do get any notifications from RPW Online during the year, they should be checked immediately as they may relate to important issues and failure to check them and respond could delay payments.

Members should contact their County Office if any help is needed in responding to such notifications.

Agriculture business support all in one place

Business Wales have prepared a webpage which lists the coronavirus advice and support schemes that agricultural businesses are eligible for all in one place. The page can be viewed here.

 

New and improved FUW website launched

Over the past 12 months, the FUW has been working on a new and improved website for our members. The new website has been developed to make it easier to access important information such as policy updates, news, committee meetings and consultation responses.

The new member’s section allows us to share this information more effectively and makes it easier to access recent and past work of the Union.

Click the ‘Log In’ button at the top of the page to see what there is to offer in Welsh or English. Members should have received guidance on how to Log In by email but if you are having any problems, please contact your local FUW County Office.

Agriculture Bill - Lobby your MP reminder

The Agriculture Bill is currently progressing through the House of Lords.

An attempt to introduce a clause requiring that any agricultural or food product imported into the UK under a trade agreement be produced to animal health and welfare, plant health and environmental protection standards equivalent to those in the UK was opposed by the UK Government and defeated during the Third Reading of the Bill on the 13th May 2020.

The Union is urging all members to go to THIS PAGE and send the FUW letter provided to your local MP and representatives in order to lobby for the proposed Clause 2 to be introduced into the Agriculture Bill before it receives Royal Assent.

Failure for such a change to be made to the Bill will have long term adverse impacts for UK and Welsh farmers, consumers and for domestic food security.

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COVID-19 - Important Information for our members and customers

 

In view of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve taken the decision to help protect members, customers and colleagues by closing all FUW offices.

All staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, meaning our team will be continuing with exactly the same service but over the phone/email/skype or other means of remote communication instead. 

Members and customers should continue to contact us as they would, as all our team can be contacted via the usual phone numbers. 

We will be making sure that our service levels are maintained. SAF/IACS appointments will carry on as normal but will be conducted over the phone. 

Contact details for your local office can be found here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/contact-us 

 

Important links relating to the Coronavirus:


The TB Hub have prepared a list of FAQs regarding how TB procedures will be affected by the virus: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses): https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus

Senedd Research Blog: https://seneddresearch.blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-constituency-support/