Farming Unions host Vale of Glamorgan hustings

Wales’ two farming Unions - NFU Cymru and the Farmers’ Union of Wales -  have come together in the Vale of Glamorgan to ensure that their membership has the opportunity to quiz the general election hopefuls in an agricultural husting event. 

The details for  the events are as follows: 

The Bear Hotel, Cowbridge - Wednesday, 27 November, 7.30 pm

In a joint statement, the organisations noted: “In a period of political uncertainty, where our future trading relationship with the European Union remains unclear, this is an important opportunity for every farmer to quiz their prospective member of parliament on how they view the way forward.

“With much of the debate centred on national and international issues, these events are also an opportunity for our farming members to engage with the candidates about some of the more local issues that affect their livelihood and community.

“We would encourage members of the farming community to take up this opportunity to pose questions to those that seek to represent them in the next parliament at Westminster.”

Unions join forces to hold hustings in Vale of Clwyd

Wales’ two farming Unions - NFU Cymru and the Farmers’ Union of Wales -  have come together in Denbigh and Flintshire to ensure that their membership has the opportunity to quiz the general election hopefuls in an agricultural husting event. 

The details for the events are as follows: 

Llysfasi College, Lecture theatre, Ruthin Road, Llysfasi, Ruthin LL15 2LB - Monday 9 December at 7.30 pm

In a joint statement, the organisations noted: “In a period of political uncertainty, where our future trading relationship with the European Union remains unclear, this is an important opportunity for every farmer to quiz their prospective member of parliament on how they view the way forward.

“With much of the debate centred on national and international issues, these events are also an opportunity for our farming members to engage with the candidates about some of the more local issues that affect their livelihood and community.

“We would encourage members of the farming community to take up this opportunity to pose questions to those that seek to represent them in the next parliament at Westminster.”

Farming unions and YFC to host General Election hustings in North West Wales

Both farming unions and the local YFCs have come together in North Wales to ensure that their membership has the opportunity to quiz the general election hopefuls in a series of four agricultural husting events in the area. 

NFU Cymru, the Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) and the Young Farmers Federations have worked together to arrange electoral hustings for Ynys Môn, Arfon, Meirionnydd Dwyfor and Aberconwy constituencies, inviting all candidates to participate.

The details of the events are as follows: 

Arfon – Wednesday 27th November at Caeathro Village Hall, Caeathro at 7.30pm; 

Ynys Môn - Tuesday 3rd of December 2019 at 5:30pm at Cartio Môn, Bodedern; 

Aberconwy – Wednesday 4th of December 2019 at 7:30pm at Elwy Room, Glasdir Centre, Llanrwst;

Meirionnydd Dwyfor – Thursday 5th of December 2019 at 7:30pm at Porthmadog Football Club.

More cattle slaughtered in last 5 years in Wales than the reported population of Badgers in Wales, First Minister hears

Farmers’ Union of Wales President Glyn Roberts stressed the urgent need 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, when he met with First Minister Mark Drakeford and Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths.

The special meeting was arranged at the Union’s request and followed a series of meetings with the Minister and officials in recent months looking mainly at the science around TB management.

In setting the scene, the President reminded the First Minister of the human suffering and mental pain that TB caused in farming communities and the frustration that little was being done to successfully address the TB reservoir in wildlife. Statistically, in the last 5 years more cattle have been slaughtered in Wales as a result of TB than the total reported population of Badgers in Wales. 

The focus of the discussion was to gain commitment from the Welsh Government to an innovative approach to managing the scourge of TB as the current management plans were providing limited, if any, success.

“Farmers need hope, hope that this dreadful disease will be dealt with and removed from our landscape,” said Glyn Roberts. 

“To that end we asked the First Minister to consider funding a thoroughly innovative approach that takes best practice from other areas of society facing big challenges.

FUW looks forward to 30th Royal Welsh Winter Fair

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is looking forward to a busy Royal Welsh Winter Fair (Monday 25 - Tuesday 26 November) with plenty of #FarmingMatters chats and a warm welcome to the Union’s stand guaranteed.

Those visiting the FUW stand, which is located next to the main show ring, can enter the annual Christmas hamper competition by filling in a short survey, and staff are on hand to discuss the Union’s response to the Welsh Government ‘Sustainable farming and our Land’ consultation response and the Union’s General Election manifesto. 

Speaking ahead of the event, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Time has flown by and I can hardly believe that the Winter Fair is just around the corner again. 

“This fantastic event should help get everyone in the festive spirit and I look forward to catching up with many of you at the FUW stand over a cup of tea and mince pie. 

“Our staff and officials are on hand to discuss any questions you may have about #FarmingMatters, including Bovine TB rules, future farm policy in Wales and of course the Union’s key asks of the next UK Government. A warm welcome is guaranteed to all.”

 

FUW urges shoppers - support your local businesses this Christmas

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging shoppers to keep their Christmas shopping local to show support for rural and local businesses.

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “As we speed towards Christmas, I would like to urge you to think about your rural businesses and see if you can buy local, either for the upcoming Christmas dinner or even gifts for family and friends.

“Speak to your local butcher about meat for the Christmas period and see what your local farm shop has to offer - I promise you will find many of the ingredients you need for your Christmas dinner right on your doorstep. 

“There are also plenty of small shops around that offer Welsh craft and locally designed gifts and of course the choice for local food gifts is aplenty. It really is worth having a look. These are small decisions we can make that will have a big impact on our rural economy.

“A pound spent locally will go much further than a pound spent in a chain store and it keeps our rural economies going. By supporting our local businesses we don’t help a CEO buy a third holiday home but we help a local mum and dad put food on the table, a family pay their mortgage, a little girl get those dance lessons and a little boy get his favourite team shirt.” 

 

Ceredigion farmers get chance to ask critical questions at hustings

Farmers in Ceredigion will get a chance to question local prospective MPs ahead of the General Election at a hustings organised by the Farmers’ Union of Wales and Ceredigion YFC.

The event, which is open to all, is held on Wednesday 4 December at Lampeter Rugby Club starting at 7.30 pm.  

Confirmed candidates include  Ben Lake - Plaid Cymru, Mark Williams- Liberal Democrats, Dinah Mulholland - Labour, Chris Simpson - Green Party Amanda Jenner - Conservatives and Gethin James, Brexit party.

The hustings will be chaired jointly by Morys Ioan, FUW Ceredigion County Chairman, and Endaf Griffiths, Ceredigion Young Farmer of the Year.

Speaking ahead of the event, Morys Ioan said: “This is an excellent opportunity to question the candidates on all #farmingmatters and so much more. It is very important that we make informed decisions when we take to the polls in a few week’s time and I hope many of you will be able to join us.”

 

 

FUW Supports Alternative Method For Ageing Sheep At Slaughter

The Farmers’ Union of Wales’ has welcomed a UK Government consultation which would see an alternative method of ageing sheep at slaughter but warns that further delay to implementation would be unacceptable.

 

The consultation proposes to allow a cut-off date to be used when ageing sheep as an alternative to the current method of ageing by dentition.  In sheep, ageing by dentition is deemed inaccurate as incisors can develop anywhere between 9 months and 15 months of age.   

FUW sets out post-Brexit proposals in Sustainable Farming Consultation response

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has responded to the Welsh Government’s consultation on post-Brexit rural support by proposing a framework and dynamic farm support system that takes full account of all Welsh Wellbeing Goals, National Wellbeing Indicators and other Welsh objectives.

The Welsh Government had proposed in its Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation - the deadline for which was 30 October - that future farm and rural support should be focussed on the United Nations’ definition of ‘Sustainable Land Management’, and that this should be the objective of a future policy.

FUW Caernarfon AGM to discuss future of farming

The Annual General Meeting of the FUW’s Caernarfonshire County Branch will be held at Caernarfon Golf Club, on Wednesday 6 November at 7.30 pm. 

The main topic of the evening will be Sustainable Farming and addressing the issue are Dr Prysor Williams from Bangor University and Nia Williams from Natural Resources Wales.  Also present will be FUW President Glyn Roberts, who will provide an update on the Union’s activity. 

FUW Caernarfon County Chairman Dafydd Williams said: “We look forward to an informative evening, which I’m sure will provide much food for thought. I do hope that many of you can join us.”

The event is sponsored by HSBC and the FUW is looking forward to welcoming Bryn Edmunds on behalf of the bank.

“The meeting will be held in Welsh, but you are more than welcome to bring a friend along with you to the meeting that will be able to translate for you,” added Mr Williams. 

Light refreshments will be served at the end of the meeting. 

If you intend coming to the AGM please contact the county office by Monday 4 November on 01286 672541.  

FUW Deputy President honoured with FUW - United Counties Agricultural & Hunters Society award

 

Newly appointed Farmers’ Union of Wales Deputy President Ian Rickman has been recognised for his services to agriculture in Carmarthen with the Farmers’ Union of Wales - United Counties Agricultural and Hunters Society Award.

 

Vale of Glamorgan dairy champion honoured by FUW for services to agriculture

 

Every year the Farmers’ Union of Wales recognises an individual who has made a great contribution towards the development of the dairy industry and has become an integral part of the dairy industry in Wales.

 

FUW President outlines key concerns for dairy sector ahead of Welsh Dairy Show

 

Farmers’ Union of Wales president Glyn Roberts outlined key concerns facing the dairy sector ahead of the annual Welsh Dairy

show at a special function held at Carmarthen Livestock Market (Monday, 28 October, 2019).

 

 

Dairy enthusiasts visit iconic Welsh cheese producer

 

A delegation of dairy enthusiasts from the Farmers’ Union of Wales have made the pilgrimage to iconic Welsh cheese producer Caws Teifi Cheese in the heart of Ceredigion.

‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Naughty 40’ or ‘Garden Gate’ - what will it be for you at Pembrokeshire Bingo Night Extravaganza

The Pembrokeshire branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales has organised a bingo evening in aid of the DPJ Foundation on Thursday 14 November, at Haverfordwest Cricket Club.  Doors open 7 pm, eyes down at 8 pm.  

The DPJ Foundation was set up in July 2016 following the death of Daniel Picton-Jones. The foundation aims to support people in rural communities with poor mental health, especially men in the agricultural sector. 

Agriculture carries one of the highest rates of suicide and with mental health being such a big problem across society the foundation aims to break down the stigma that surrounds mental health and provide support services for those in rural communities.

FUW Pembrokeshire County Executive Officer Rebecca Voyle said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to all to join us for what promises to be a fun evening - you never know ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Naughty 40’ or ‘Garden Gate’ might just be what you need. We hope that as many as possible will join us on the night to help us raise money to support the fantastic work the DPJ Foundation does.”

For more information on the event, contact the Pembrokeshire FUW office on 01437 762913.

Meirionnydd farmers discuss industry concerns and #FarmingMatters with Clwyd South MP

The important role farmers play in keeping the wheels of the rural economy turning, concerns about the future of family farms in light of Brexit and wider #FarmingMatters, were top of the agenda when Farmers’ Union of Wales members and officials met with Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones.

Hosting the meeting at his farm Tymawr, Carrog, near Corwen, was FUW Meirionnydd County Vice-Chairman Edwin Jones. Speaking to the MP, he said: “Farming matters in so many ways that are seldom realised. 

“Not only do farms produce food but they are also the cornerstone of our rural economies. Family farms, in particular, are at the heart of our rural economy, caring for our landscape, and of course our culture.

“They make innumerable other contributions to the well-being of Wales and the UK. Central to such benefits is the production of food and the improvement in domestic food security. 

“All those businesses who supply essential services, materials, and machinery to farmers, through to the farmers themselves and their produce, to the processors who turn them into food, and the consumers themselves, have a critical part to play in our rural economy. And that is at stake if we get Brexit wrong.”

‘A Gwd Thing’ raises over £850 for charity

Pembrokeshire farmers embraced the baler twine, flat cap, rigger boots and moustache, as the Welsh Whisperer played a special charity fundraising concert in Maenclochog.

The evening was organised by the Farmers’ Union of Wales Pembrokeshire branch to raise money for two amazing local charities, The DPJ Foundation, and Farms For City Children in St David’s.

And a gwd thing it was, with the event raising over £850.

Rebecca Voyle, FUW Pembrokeshire CEO, said: “Thank you to everyone who came along to support our evening with the Welsh Whisperer, as you helped us raise a fantastic amount of money, which will be equally split between the two local charities.

“A great time was had by all and the younger members of the audience should certainly have slept well that night!”

FUW looks forward to Welsh Dairy Show

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is looking forward to a busy Welsh Dairy Show (Tuesday, 29 October), with #FarmingMatters and the future of the industry high on the agenda.

Speaking ahead of the event, FUW Vice President Dai Miles said: “We look forward to welcoming members to the Union stand and those visiting the show are also invited to join us for some warming cawl at our outside trailer. 

“There will be plenty of #FarmingMatters chats and we look forward to discussing the dairy industry with those who come to see us.”

The FUW is also looking forward to the annual eve of Welsh Dairy show farm visit, which will take place at Caws Teifi Cheese on Monday, 28 October and the evening function, held at Carmarthen Livestock Market, commencing at 7 pm. 

“As is FUW tradition, we will be visiting an inspirational dairy enterprise in the afternoon of the eve of the Welsh Dairy Show and in the evening we look forward to hearing from our keynote speakers as they discuss the past and future of the dairy industry.”

Caerphilly farmer discusses #FarmingMatters with local AM

Caerphilly farmer David Perkins, who farms at Duffryn Isaf Farm, Lanbradach, welcomed local Assembly Member Hefin David to his farm to discuss the most critical #FarmingMatters.

The farm extends to around 100 acres and carries a flock 220 breeding ewes plus 15 suckler cows. It has been in the family for 3 generations with David’s grandfather having bought the farm in 1945.

During the visit to the typical Valleys family farm, FUW officials explained how the proposed future farming support system, as laid out in the Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation, would impact upon the viability of farms like Duffryn Isaf.

The consultation proposes that future support should be designed around the principle of sustainability in a way which brings together the ‘wide-ranging and significant economic, environmental and social contribution or farmers’, through a single Sustainable Farming Scheme based on the principles of providing a meaningful and stable income stream; rewarding outcomes in a fair way; paying for both new and existing sustainable practices; and flexibility allowing every type of farm to apply.

FUW Gwent CEO Glyn Davies said: “We took the opportunity to highlight that farms such as Duffryn Isaf are likely to be severely affected by the removal of the basic payment scheme, and its replacement by environmental schemes. What is proposed is the replacement of direct support for farmers with what is, in essence, a public goods scheme. 

Remember, remember - livestock and pets don’t like 5th November

With bonfire night fast approaching, the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging people to remember the distress fireworks and sky lanterns can cause to livestock and pets and reminds them of the dangers posed by bonfires.

“We call on people to stick to the firework safety code at all times, especially over the bonfire and Halloween season, to minimise the risk to livestock, pets and humans,” said FUW Vice President Brian Bowen.

“This time of year poses many dangers to animals and children – so don’t let negligence and ignorance be the cause for a real-life horror,” added Mr Bowen.

Animals in general are not fond of the noise of fireworks and can become quite anxious during this time of year. Therefore, the FUW urges people to be considerate and not let them off near livestock.

“It is also a good idea to make sure that your pets have been micro-chipped by a vet and that the details on the chip are up to date prior to bonfire night, just in case they go missing,” said Brian Bowen.

Farm safety and the environment hotly debated at Meirionnydd farm visit

The importance of staying safe on-farm and the benefits of producing food with the environment in mind, were topics high on the agenda at a recent farm visit in Meirionnydd. 

Opening the gates to their beef and sheep farm to host the event, were FUW Meirionnydd county chairman Sion Ifans and wife Gwawr. The couple farm at Brynuchaf, Llanymawddwy. 

The farm extends to 370 hectares, the majority of which is mountain land, and is a typical Meirionnydd upland farm.  

Here they keep a flock of 900 Welsh mountain ewes, and 15 suckler cows. All store stock is sold through farmers marts, with all the finished lambs sent to Randall Parker Foods in Llanidloes or via Farmers Marts at the livestock auction in Machynlleth.

The farm has also been in the Glastir scheme since 2014, and there is a long history of participation in agri-environment schemes such as Tir Cymen in the early 1990’s when Meirionnydd was chosen as a pilot area for the scheme. Thereafter, the farm joined the Tir Gofal scheme until the opportunity came to join Glastir. 

To supplement the farm income, Sion also works self-employed on a part-time basis with Farming Connect and Welsh Lamb and Beef Promotions and wife Gwawr is employed by Conwy Council as a translator. 

Welcoming a delegation of local farmers and showcasing the various elements of the Glastir scheme, Sion said: “We have always cared deeply for the environment here at Brynuchaf and think that food production and looking after the land, go hand in hand. 

“As food producers, we are subjected to all weather and are just as exposed as everyone else to climate change and the extremes it brings. 

Welsh concerns over impact of ‘new’ EU-UK deal unchanged says FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales says the draft withdrawal deal and political declaration agreed between the EU and the UK does nothing to allay concerns present in Theresa May’s original deal, given it contains ‘no significant changes or improvements for Wales’ and will place the UK outside the Single Market.

 

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “From a Welsh perspective the deal is to all intents and purposes unchanged from when it was proposed by Theresa May.

“The fact that it seeks to take us well and truly out of the Single Market and Customs Union in order to pave the way for deals with non-EU countries, coupled with the UK Government’s alarming appetite for a deal with the USA, raises major alarm bells for Welsh farming and those concerned with UK food standards.”

Mr Roberts said it would clearly be a US priority in trade negotiations to secure access to the UK market for agricultural products - which are often produced in ways and to standards that fall well short of what is currently legal in Wales and the rest of the EU.

“The impact would be extremely damaging for Welsh farmers and UK food standards, and there is a real danger that the UK would be ‘deal-takers’ during the sort of negotiations this withdrawal deal and political declaration is seeking to allow.

Pembrokeshire dairy farmer appointed as new FUW Vice President

Pembrokeshire dairy farmer Dai Miles has been elected as the new Farmers’ Union of Wales Vice President at the FUW’s Grand Council meeting in Aberystwyth (Wednesday, 16 October).

Dai has been the FUW’s milk and dairy produce committee chairman since 2017 and is also one of the 4 founding directors of Calon Wen, an organic milk co-operative that not only sells on its member’s milk to processors but has created its own brand of dairy products which are available through all major retailers in Wales and UK wide via distributors. 

A self-confessed born Cardi, Dai lived in Felin Fach near Lampeter as a child and went to Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron. He is a fluent Welsh speaker and attended the Welsh Agricultural College in Aberystwyth where he received a National Diploma in Agriculture and completed a sandwich year at Godor Nantgaredig.

After college Dai spent 5 years as a Herdsman of 160 cows at Waun Fawr Glynarthen Llandysul, then a further 5 years at IGER Trawscoed working as a relief herdsman between the two dairy herds -Lodge Farm and the organic herd at Ty Gwyn.

In 1997, in partnership with his wife Sharron, the couple took on the tenancy of Barnsley Farm, a 143 acres farm in West Wales. At the time it was a stock/arable unit which they converted into an organic dairy unit starting with 33 cows and leased milk quota. 

In 2001 they took on a further 90 acres of pasture land and then in 2005 the neighbouring farm within the same estate. At the moment the couple have 120 cows and 65 youngstock. Cropping is mainly grass, however arable silage, forage rape and fodder beet are part of the rotation farming approx. 300 plus acres. 

In 2018 they purchased the neighbouring farm from the estate and installed a modern robotic milking system on the holding.

Speaking about his appointment Dai said: “One reason why I am proud to be a member of the FUW is that all members have a voice whether they farm large businesses or smaller farms. 

Carmarthenshire sheep farmer elected as FUW Deputy President

Carmarthenshire sheep farmer and former Farmers’ Union of Wales Vice President Ian Rickman, has been elected as the FUW’s new Deputy President at a Grand Council meeting in Aberystwyth (Wednesday, 16 October).

He has been an active union member for more than 20 years and was Carmarthenshire county chairman from 2010 - 2012. He has also held the post of chairman of the hill farming and marginal land committee, a position he has held for four years. In 2017, Ian was elected as the FUW’s Vice President. 

Over the past 2 years, he has worked tirelessly to represent the Union and its members at a variety of Welsh Government meetings, at farm visits with MP’s and AM’s highlighting why #FarmingMatters and represented the Union in a host of media interviews.

Ian is married to Helen and they have three sons. The family lives at Gurnos, an upland sheep farm near Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire. The farm extends to 220 acres with Common Grazing Rights on the Black Mountain, and Ian is a member of the Management Committee of the Black Mountain West Graziers Association. 

Outside of farming, he was Chairman of Governors of Ysgol Gynradd Ffairfach and also enjoys rugby. He is a keen follower of the Scarlets and is an active Welsh learner.

Appointing Ian to his new role, Union President Glyn Roberts said: “Ian has already done so much for our industry, representing the views of our grassroots membership, holding Government to account and working tirelessly to spread the #FarmingMatters message.

Long-serving Pembrokeshire Beef and Sheep farmer stands down as FUW Deputy President

Prominent Pembrokeshire beef and sheep farmer Brian Thomas, who has served the Farmers’ Union of Wales for over two decades, has stood down as the Union’s Deputy President. 

Brian is a past county chairman of the FUW in Pembrokeshire and has previously sat on the FUW’s central tenant’s committee. He was elected South Wales member of the central finance and organisation committee in 2011, Vice President of the FUW in 2013 and Deputy President in 2015.

During the 1996 BSE outbreak, Mr Thomas led the campaign in South West Wales opposing the importation of inferior beef into Wales.  In 1997 he led a group of farmers to Tesco’s stand at the Royal Welsh Show to address them about the unfair way in which they were treating the industry and he has been a leading figure in the fight against bovine TB.

Thanking Mr Thomas for his long service at the Union’s Grand Council meeting in Aberystwyth on Wednesday, 16 October, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Brian has been a rock-solid friend and working partner for over 20 years. He is always willing to help, support and give advice. It is fair to say that Brian is someone I could and do rely on.

“From the very start, Brian has gone above and beyond in serving not just this Union but the industry as a whole. He was never afraid to ruffle a few feathers if it meant farmers got a better deal, be that through leading protests or campaigning at Government level. 

Urgent clarification on Tomlinson’s decision to cease milk collection required

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is seeking urgent clarity on the reasons behind the decision by Tomlinson’s Dairies to close its doors and refuse milk.

This shock decision came in with almost immediate effect and has left many dairy producers in Wales scrambling to find another processor for their milk.

FUW Vice President Eifion Huws said: “We are extremely concerned for our members who are affected and who have contacted us. We had no prior warning and are extremely disappointed that farmers are left in a predicament where they have no one to collect their milk.  

“If the speculation is true, and we have lost yet another major processor in Wales, this will come as 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.”

Contact

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

01970 820820
post@fuw.org.uk

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