Scottish farm support announcement underlines naivety of Welsh plans, says FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) says that the Scottish Government’s confirmation that direct farm support will continue in Scotland highlights the fundamental flaws inherent in Wales’ Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) proposals.

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf told NFU Scotland's spring conference on Friday (9th February) that 70% of future support will constitute direct farm payments to support food producers. The remaining 30% will be targeted at environmental measures, a ratio similar to current Scottish arrangements.

“By comparison, the Welsh Government’s proposed SFS, due to be introduced next year, would bring direct farm payments to an end completely while introducing a mountain of costly restrictions and requirements,” said FUW President, Ian Rickman.

“This would mean Welsh farmers competing at a huge disadvantage compared to our counterparts in Scotland, despite both our countries having a similar proportion of disadvantaged land where only livestock farming is possible.”

Around 85% of Scotland is classified as Less Favoured, while the proportion in Wales is 80%. In England it is just 17%.

Mr Yousaf also confirmed that a form of Less Favoured Areas support, which was abandoned in Wales in 2013, would continue in Scotland.

“The Welsh Government’s economic analysis published alongside their SFS consultation paper suggests all the rules and restrictions would lead to an 11% reduction in livestock numbers. It would also see a fall in average Welsh farm incomes of between 25 and 35 percent. This figure would rise to between 48% and 85% in the absence of possible ‘top-up’ payments,” said Mr Rickman.

“Now that we have left the EU, the UK effectively has its own single market but without the common payment rules. If Wales diverges from Scotland in the way proposed by Welsh Government, we would not only be disadvantaging our own farmers by introducing a mountain of rules not present for EU producers, but would also be placing our own industry at a huge competitive disadvantage compared to Scotland and handing business to the Scotts on a plate,” said Mr Rickman.

The FUW was a principled opponent of Brexit and after the vote to leave in 2016, argued for a robust replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy that minimised such unfair competition between UK nations. This was apparent in our comprehensive Filling the Void paper published in July 2018.

“This very sensible and economically advantageous move by the Scottish Government needs to be reflected by the Welsh Government when it considers the vast number of improvements that must be made to its current SFS proposals. What is proposed at present is destructive and economically naive, and would be a massive own goal for Wales’ farms, society, culture and economy.

“As we predicted, Brexit has failed Welsh farmers on many levels and the Welsh Government’s plans would merely add to the challenges we have faced since 2016,” he added. 

The importance of getting the Sustainable Farming Scheme right cannot be underestimated, says FUW President

Farmers’ Union of Wales President, Ian Rickman, has written to all members urging individuals and businesses to formally respond to the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) consultation and to make their voices heard. 

“We need only look at the statistics from the Farm Business Survey to understand the significance of agricultural and rural development funding to our food supply chains and the wider rural economy.

“This is the third and final consultation on the SFS proposals and the importance of getting it right cannot be underestimated.

“We have already spoken directly with over 1500 farmers at our local county meetings across Wales in recent weeks, and our team of farming experts have been pushing for changes and amendments to the Welsh Government’s plans over a number of years. This is a crucial juncture for Welsh agriculture and its future

Modelling on the potential economic effects of the Sustainable Farming Scheme published alongside the consultation suggests:

  • a reduction in farm business income of up to £199 million
  • a reduction in farm output of £125 million
  • 122,000 fewer livestock units
  • an 11% decline in on-farm labour requirements.

“The reality is that if the scheme remains in its current form, and if the modelling report is correct, farmers uptake will be minimal and everyone will lose out - Welsh farmers, the environment, the public and ultimately the Welsh Government.

“There is a real worry that even under a scenario where scheme payments come nowhere near to compensating for the loss of the Basic Payment Scheme, there will be some farm businesses that will have no choice other than to participate in the SFS. This will, no doubt, place further pressure on farmers’ workload and mental health.

“The Sustainable Farming Scheme must be accessible by all, and provide long-term stability for farming businesses and the wider rural economy that relies upon agriculture. The SFS needs to provide a meaningful income stream which properly rewards farmers and underpins the importance of a high quality food supply chain, produced here in Wales” said Mr Rickman.

The uncertainty around the future of agricultural support in Wales comes against a backdrop of continuous bovine TB breakdowns and the slaughtering of thousands of Welsh cattle every year. This is in addition to an all-Wales approach to bureaucratic pollution regulations which will cost the industry in excess of £400 million to comply with.

“The recent meetings at Welshpool and Carmarthen livestock markets made a clear statement about the frustration felt by many farmers. It illustrated the groundswell of concern with regards to the current situation and future direction of agricultural policy here in Wales.

“As a farmer myself I fully understand and comprehend the frustrations of many at these meetings. We need to ensure that we work together and that the voice of Welsh farmers is being heard by decision makers in Wales and Westminster. Both farming unions will be meeting with Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, to discuss the way forward.

“I cannot, however, overstate how important it is for every individual and business that will be affected by these proposals to formally respond to this consultation by the 7th of March. It is absolutely crucial that we all do so.

“I would also ask you to contact your local elected representatives at every opportunity, whether they are county councillors, local and/or regional Members of the Senedd or Members of Parliament at Westminster.

“We need to ensure that they also hear your voice and your concerns in order to ensure that we can continue to bring pressure on the Welsh Government to revise the scheme in a way that promotes a sustainable agriculture industry in Wales and safeguards it for the future.”

Respond to the Sustainable Farming Scheme consultation here:



FUW breakfast week raises over £17k for Wales Air Ambulance

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has raised £ 17,509 for the Wales Air Ambulance throughout its annual farmhouse breakfast week in January (15 -21 January 2024).

Over 35 events were held across Wales with members and politicians alike enjoying the delicious, nutritious and sustainable breakfast produce on offer, whilst catching up on farming matters with FUW staff and officials.

FUW President Ian Rickman said: “We have enjoyed another successful breakfast week and I thank all the staff, members, volunteers and our politicians across Wales for their incredible support. Together we have raised an incredible amount of money for this very important charity that saves lives across Wales every single day. 

FUW welcomes much-needed support payments for Welsh organic producers

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has welcomed the announcement that support payments will be made available to all fully-certified organic producers in Wales this year, providing much-needed certainty for the sector.

Speaking in response to the announcement, FUW President Ian Rickman said: “This is welcomed news for the Welsh organic sector following the end of the Glastir Organic Scheme and especially for those who continue to face inflationary pressures.

“This support, which will be administered through the SAF process, should enable organic producers to maintain their certified status for this year as we consult with our members on the final details of the Sustainable Farming Scheme and how long-term support for organics will be included.”

FUW hosts Sustainable Farming Scheme roadshow for members

In a bid to engage farmers in Wales with the final proposals of the Sustainable Farming Scheme, the Farmers’ Union of Wales is hosting an information roadshow for members.

The Welsh Government launched the pivotal consultation on the future of the Sustainable Farming Scheme in December 2023 and it is the mechanism through which farmers will receive support in Wales from 2025 onwards.

Speaking about the consultation FUW President Ian Rickman said: “We have repeatedly consulted with our members on several versions of this scheme since 2018 and are now at the most critical stage of its development. I encourage our members to make every effort to join an information event in their county and actively participate in formulating the Union’s response to the proposals.”

Mr Rickman added that while the Union has been successful in lobbying for certain crucial changes to the scheme since its inception, including the provision of a baseline payment, a number of significant barriers and questions around certain details remain.

In response to the initial Brexit and Our Land Consultation, the FUW maintained that any future payment scheme based on environmental and public goods outcomes must also protect family farms, support rural communities and Welsh Jobs and ensure that agriculture is both sustainable and rewarding. To fail to do so would most likely lead to serious damage to Wales’ family farms and the role they play in Wales’ economy, society, culture and landscape.

“These policy priorities continue to underpin our key asks in relation to the Sustainable Farming Scheme - this scheme must be practical for all farmers in Wales and deliver on our economic, environmental and social sustainability,” said the Union President.

Information events are being held at the following dates and locations:

Tuesday, 23 January, 7.30pm - Ceredigion, Clwb Rygbi Aberaeron

Wednesday, 24 January, 7.30pm - Dinbych & Fflint, Canolfan Genus, Ruthin

Thursday, 25 January, 7.30pm - Carmarthen, Rugby Athletic Club Carmarthen

Thursday 25 January, 12noon - Pembrokeshire, Clarbeston Road Memorial Hall, Clarbeston Road

Thursday, 25 January, 7.00pm - Glamorgan, Grove Golf Club Ltd, Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan

Monday 29 January, 7pm - Brecon and Radnor, FUW Pavilion, RWAS Showground, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells

Tuesday 30 January, 7.30pm - Ynys Mon, Canolfan CFfI, Cae Sioe Mon 

Wednesday, 31 January, 7.30pm - Caernarfon,  Pwllheli Golf Club, Pwllheli

Thursday 1 February, 7pm - Gwent, Monmouthshire Livestock Market, Abergavenny Road, Raglan

Thursday, 1 February, 10.00am - Meirionnydd, Fferm Sylfaen, Bermo, Gwynedd

Tuesday 6 February, 7.30pm - Montgomeryshire, Welshpool Livestock Market


Tel: 01970 820820
Find your local office  
Contact our press office

There is no need to search for other sites if you have found xxx videos.
Only the best advice and Avet Mirakyan insightgroup...


Choose the bestpayid australian casinos.


se connecter à My Stake Casino et jouer. Qu'attendez-vous d'autre ?
Bahigo - die Welt der Online-Slots, in der jede Drehung Ihnen Glück bringen kann!
Тольуо лучшие категории в порно. Выберите то, что вам по душе!



Thanks to it will be easy for you to manage your casino projects.
You may have heard about pokie spins. Now it's time to play.


Od klasycznych po nowoczesne, nasza kolekcja automatów na - Betonred, gwarantuje niezapomniane wrażenia!
Не стыдно смотреть порно. Им нужно наслаждаться!




Looking for the best casino? Then quickly go to and play


Somente Vemapostar é o melhor lugar para ganhar!


Choose only the best gta v ps4 modded accounts!


Ca parte a parteneriatului nostru cu FUW, cazinoul nostru online Ice Casino lansează o serie de jocuri cu tematică agricolă, unde o parte din încasări vor merge în sprijinul agriculturii.