Fears for the future - FUW calls for good governance to ensure stability for the family farmers of Wales

 

Against a background of complete uncertainty in terms of what Brexit will mean for farming and the nation of Wales, the President of the Farmers' Union of Wales Glyn Roberts has called on Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford for good governance to protect the family farms of Wales at a Grand Council meeting of the Union at  Aberystwyth, today, Monday 17 June.

FUW calls for enquiry into Conwy Council’s Great Orme ‘Witch Hunt’

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has demanded Conwy Borough County Council conduct a full investigation into its decision to aggressively pursue a case against a Great Orme farmer,  after the case against him collapsed during a court hearing in Llandudno.

45th United Nations World Environment Day: Welsh Family farms central to the solution

Farming families can play a  central role in helping meet the major environmental challenges of our time, says the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) on the 45th United Nations World Environment Day on June 5.

Government Review of ‘Brexit and our Land’ Consultation Welcomed by FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has given a cautious welcome to the Welsh Government’s review of responses to the Brexit and our Land consultation as a step towards recognising the threats and opportunities both Brexit and changes to rural support could bring.

FUW Calls for TB Taskforce Following Compensation Review

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is calling for much greater emphasis to be given to the economic impacts of a bovine TB breakdown following the announcement by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, that there would be a review of the compensation regime in Wales.

South Wales farmer highlights reliance of nature on farming to UK Minister

A south Wales farmer highlighted the central role played by grazing livestock and food production in conserving and enhancing biodiversity during a visit to his farm by UK Minister for Agriculture Robert Goodwill.

During the Minister’s visit to Bryncoedcae, which is farmed by four generations of the Bowen family, FUW Vice President Brian Bowen explained how the sheep and cattle maintained open mountain land which supported a range of species, in particular ground-nesting birds.

“That grazing which is so essential for wildlife takes place in the spring and through the summer up on the open mountain, but in the winter the animals are moved to our better ground and into cattle housing,” said Mr Bowen.

FUW President honoured by Gorsedd of Bards

Welsh farmers leader Glyn Roberts will be honoured by the Gorsedd of Bards at this year’s National Eisteddfod. The Farmers’ Union of Wales President will be recognised alongside Welsh rugby legends Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens, Anglesey comedian Tudur Owen and Ceredigion harpist Catrin Finch.

“This is a great honour, not just for myself,  but for the recognition it gives to the importance of agriculture to Wales,” said Glyn. “Farming is the backbone of a thriving rural countryside and the communities that live in it”.

Farming’s key role in tackling climate change

Farming must be recognised as central to helping tackle climate change, says the Farmers’ Union of Wales, highlighting the danger that misguided attacks on the industry over climate change could lead to knee-jerk reaction policies that add to environmental problems and increase carbon emissions.

Work on UK frameworks and funding essential, FUW tells new Defra Minister

 

On his first visit to Wales, the UK’s new Minister for Agriculture, Robert Goodwill MP, has been warned that work on developing a UK framework for agriculture is still essential, despite the collapse of the Government’s Brexit policy.

 

After a meeting with the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the farm of Brian Bowen at Princetown, south Wales,  FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Whilst the failure to get an agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has been the main story in recent months, we also brought a number of other critical issues to the attention of the Minister.”

Environment groups must ‘take share of blame for curlew decline’

 

Farmers have hit back at claims over the role of farming in the decline of curlews and other species, saying environmental charities and advisors must take their fair share of the blame for policies which have led to habitat degradation and increased predation.

New laws to control dog attacks - Private Members Bill is pledged to short cut process

A major new campaign to put an end to dog attacks across Wales has won the support of Ceredigion MP Ben Lake. The Farmers Union of Wales has linked up with other organisations to remind dog owners, “Your dog, your responsibility” and is calling for legislative changes that reflect the seriousness of the offense.  

New campaign aims to tackle dog attacks on livestock

A new campaign to put an end to dog attacks across Wales will be rolled out shortly by the FUW, based on solid research and evidence which has provided greater insight into this serious problem. The “Your Dog, Your Responsibility” campaign, launched last week, highlights the fact that 89 per cent of all dog attacks on livestock happen when dogs stray from home.

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Eat Welsh lamb and beef - help save the planet !

Recent reports highlighting the large quantities of water needed to produce meat and dairy products are well wide of the mark in Wales, where it’s mainly rain water which irrigates the lush pastures. Such reports are based on global figures which group together the extensively reared cattle and sheep of Wales with the intensive farms of the US. 

‘It’s okay to talk’

Agriculture carries the highest rate of suicide of any occupation, and at this time of year the pressures of lambing, long hours working alone late into the night, with little rest and often no one to talk to, can increase the pressures on farmers. 

Farming leaders welcome latest Brexit Bill

Farming leaders have welcomed last night’s Bill in Parliament which, if approved by the Lords, will enshrine in law that the UK must ask EU leaders for a long extension if Theresa May fails to get her deal through parliament by April 12 - effectively ruling out a no-deal Brexit.

Telecom giants push for 5G - but cuts to compensation for farmers whose land is lost

The UK Government’s push to increase mobile phone coverage across Wales has hidden, and potentially expensive,  side effects for farmers. The revised Electronic Communication Code means that Telecom operators have been able to cut rents paid to those with masts on their land.

Welsh farmers continue backing extra time to seal Brexit deal

An all Wales meeting of Farmers’ Union of Wales leaders has unanimously called on the Government to give more time to deliver on Brexit, following the latest voting in Parliament.

Article 50 revocation ‘only safe way’ to stop ticking Brexit time bomb and respect parliament’s opposition to no-deal

With just ten days to go before the UK is due to leave the EU the FUW has reiterated its call for Article 50 to be revoked, calling it the ‘only safe way’ to respect parliament’s overwhelming rejection of no-deal.Last night (April 1) parliament voted on four Brexit options but all were rejected, and today the Cabinet will hold an emergency meeting to consider a way forward.Under the current law the UK is due to leave the EU on April 12 with or without a deal.

Article 50 revocation still the best option following third defeat of withdrawal deal - FUW

The FUW has responded to the third defeat in Parliament of the government’s withdrawal deal saying that revoking Article 50 is the only way to guarantee a safe and orderly Brexit. The call came after Prime Minister Theresa May’s third attempt to secure parliament’s backing for her withdrawal agreement was defeated by 344 to 286 votes.

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “With power over the Brexit process now resting firmly with Parliament, MPs need to recognise that withdrawing Article 50 is the only way to secure sufficient time to allow a consensus to be reached which bridges the political divides which exist within and between parties.”

Rigorous animal welfare protects sheep from pests and diseases

Sheep shearing is a highly skilled process and essential every year to reduce the likelihood of disease and parasitic infections, which can cause health and welfare problems for the animals.  Now the Farmers’ Union of Wales has joined other industry organisations to produce joint guidance on sheep shearing, reminding farmers and professional contractors to work together to ensure that sheep are handled appropriately during shearing.

Joint Industry Guidance on Sheep Shearing

Industry organisations have produced joint guidance on sheep shearing to remind farmers and professional contractors to work together to ensure that sheep are handled appropriately during shearing.

The guide explains and emphasises everyone’s responsibilities, so that every step from the presentation of sheep on farm, through to livestock handling and the shearing process is well-planned, organised and calmly implemented.

‘The Government’s sheep welfare code states that you should remove the fleece from all mature sheep at least once a year’, explained Dafydd Jarrett of NFU Cymru. ‘Many farmers are qualified shearers in their own right, whilst others choose to use professional contractors, but all seek to ensure the highest standards of welfare are constantly met.’

‘Phil Stocker, CEO of the National Sheep Association (NSA) commented, ‘Wool is one of the most natural and sustainable fibres on earth and the practice of shearing is an essential part of the process that also improves the welfare of sheep.   This industry guidance is a valuable checklist that will help farmers and shearers to prepare in advance so that the entire operation goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.’

‘Shearing is essential for reducing the likelihood of disease and those parasitic infections which cause health and welfare problems for sheep.  Sheep keepers in Britain adhere to rigorous, scientifically validated animal welfare regulations and this guidance reinforces the commitment by industry to ensure that shearing is conducted to very high standards,’ clarified Dr Hazel Wright, Senior Policy Officer, Farmers’ Union of Wales.

Preparations must be made for EU elections to avoid next cliff edge FUW tells PM

 

Farmers' Union of Wales President Glyn Roberts has written to Prime Minister Theresa May warning that preparations should be made for EU parliamentary elections in May to avoid taking options off the table which are in our nations' interest.

The call comes following reports that the Prime Minister had written to the EU seeking an extension to the Article 50 period until 30 June. However, details of a leaked internal EU diplomatic memo published by the Independent online suggests that the leaders of the 27 Member States who must approve any extension period will have to choose either a short extension to before May 23, or a long delay until at least the end of the year.

The memo states that an extension until 30 June "...would entail serious legal and political risks for the European Union and would import some of the current uncertainties in the United Kingdom into the EU27” and that “Any extension offered to the United Kingdom should either last until 23 May 2019 or should be significantly longer and require European elections.”

Mr Roberts’ letter states that while the FUW supports the revocation of Article 50 in order to take full control over the Brexit process, and allow it to take place over a safe and realistic timescale, “...if a short delay is agreed by the EU but Parliament again finds itself unable to reach agreement in the weeks leading up to the new deadline, we may have no choice but to leave the EU without an agreement if we have not made the necessary preparations for the European Parliament elections in May.”

Mr Roberts acknowledges that there “...may be mechanisms by which to overcome ...[the problems of having to hold an MEP election]...such as rolling over the representation of current MEPs, but given that the EU requires notifying of candidates and arrangements in the coming weeks, we believe it is essential that preparations should be made for a possible European Parliament election in May.”

He goes on to say: “Failure to do this is likely to take one or more of the future op

Are you under 40 and run a rural business in Pembrokeshire?

If you or someone you know, under the age of 40, is running a rural business in Pembrokeshire, if you farm in your own right or provide a service to the agricultural sector, run a cake making business, electrical or plumbing services, crafts, music teaching or food processing, then the FUW Countryside Business Award could be just the thing for you.

To be eligible for the award the individual must be 40 years of age or under on 1 January 2019 and be actively involved in a business based in rural Pembrokeshire. The deadline for entries is Friday 31 May 2019.

A £200 cash prize, perpetual trophy and a year’s free membership will be awarded to the winner.

“There are a host of fantastic businesses in rural Pembrokeshire who all do a great job in keeping the wheel of our rural economy turning. With the award we want to recognise the fantastic work our young people do to keep the rural areas of Pembrokeshire vibrant and economically active places.

FUW seeks clarification on tariff proposals that appear to breach WTO rules

 

The Farmers' Union of Wales has written to the UK Treasury asking for clarification after the UK Government published no-deal Brexit proposals which appear to fly in the face of World Trade Organisation rules.

According to the UK Government's website, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, tariffs and Tariff Rate Quotas would apply to a range of products, but "...The UK’s temporary import tariffs will...not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland."

Speaking after a meeting of Committee Chairs and Vice Presidents, FUW Head of Policy Nick Fenwick said: "Press reports that tariffs would be charged for a variety of imported goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit except those crossing from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland have caused all sorts of confusion, and were assumed to be down to a misinterpretation by reporters.

"However, the Government website states clearly that this would be the case."

Dr Fenwick said that this appeared to fly in the face of World Trade Organisation and EU rules.

"If the Government said it was going to apply tariffs to all imports except those entering the UK from Germany, without any form of trade deal in place, this would clearly be a breach of WTO rules. It would also go against the rules of the EU because Germany is in the Single Market.

Contact

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

01970 820820
post@fuw.org.uk

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