We have written to BBC Director General Tony Hall to officially complain about the 'Plant-based diet can fight climate change - UN' news item and the news programme associated which was presented on the BBC News on Thursday the 8th August 2019, and was subsequently featured on the BBC’s social media channels.
The FUW believes that this report, and its associated online content, breached the BBC Charter by failing to comply with those Charter elements pertaining to :
(1) The Independence of the BBC, in terms of “...independent in all matters concerning the fulfilment of its Mission and the promotion of the Public Purpose”
(2) The Public Purposes of the BBC, in terms of providing “...impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them
(3) Acting in the public interest, in terms of ensuring “...that the benefits (whether direct or indirect) of decisions relating to the fulfilment of its Mission and the promotion of the Public Purposes outweigh the costs (whether direct or indirect);...and in doing so, have regard to economic, social and cultural benefits and costs.”
Across the article and associated news programme and its associated content have led the FUW to believe that the BBC utterly failed to comply with section 3.1 of the Charter which states that ‘the BBC must be independent in all matters concerning the fulfilment of its Mission and the Promotion of Public Purposes….’.
The National Atmospheric Emissions Industry provides UK greenhouse gas inventories by source. According to this data, UK agriculture emissions totalled 10% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. Emissions from the UK transport, energy supply, business and residential were 27%, 24%, 17% and 17% respectively. The FUW would therefore seriously dispute the BBC’s claim that agriculture is a ‘major’ factor in global warming. This emissions data is provided in kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent and refers to the basket of Kyoto greenhouse gases; including methane.
Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) officials discussed the future of family farms in Wales with Jonathan Edwards MP at the Welsh National Sheep Dog trials in Carmarthenshire, highlighting the grave concerns farmers have in light of Brexit.
Amongst the many #farmingmatters discussed, such NVZ’s, bovine TB and the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Land Management consultation, the FUW reiterated its concerns about a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking after the event, FUW Carmarthenshire CEO David Waters said: “ We made it quite clear that the consequences for Wales' economy of a no-deal Brexit are such that no responsible Government would allow the UK to leave without a deal, and nor would any responsible Parliament agree to this.
“If we are to leave without a deal, the emergency no-deal planning needs to be stepped up - we understand that this is to happen but this in itself highlights the extreme dangers our economy is now facing.”
The Glamorgan team of the Farmers’ Union of Wales enjoyed a successful Vale Show, including many chats about #farmingmatters with politicians and members, a special raffle for the FUW President’s charity - The DPJ Foundation, and a hunt for hand painted FUW rocks around the showground.
FUW Glamorgan CEO Rachel Saunders said: “We had a fantastic show again this year and it was great to catch up with so many members and of course our elected politicians. The raffle was a total success and the children had great fun searching for our hand painted rocks across the showground.
“And whilst we enjoyed the lighter side of being at the show and sharing thoughts over cups of tea, talking to our members really drove home the issues that they are most concerned about such as the future of farming in Wales, NVZ’s, bovine TB, the closure of Cowbridge mart and of course Brexit.
“We used the opportunity to raise some of those concerns with Jane Hutt AM, Belinda Loveluck-Edwards (Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan), David Melding AM and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns as they joined us for #farmingmatters chats here at the show.
Farmers’ Union of Wales officials met up with newly elected Brecon and Radnor MP Jane Dodds to discuss the most critical #farmingmatters at the county show (Saturday, 3 August).
Speaking at the show, FUW Vice President Brian Bowen told the MP that the consequences for Wales' economy of a no-deal Brexit are such that no responsible Government would allow the UK to leave without a deal, and nor would any responsible Parliament agree to this.
He said: “Boris Johnson believes the risks of there not being a deal are a million to one and we welcome this optimism but are extremely concerned by the 'do-or-die' rhetoric.
“If we are to leave without a deal, the emergency no-deal planning needs to be stepped up - we understand that this is to happen but this in itself highlights the extreme dangers our economy is now facing.
“The impact of losing our EU export market in the event of a hard Brexit because of tariffs and other barriers makes even the whole promised £300m look like a drop in the ocean - and we are just one of many industries which are looking at losing billions in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Farmers here in Brecon and Radnorshire are worried about their livelihoods and this fear is becoming all-consuming.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging farmers to make use of a free and confidential pesticide disposal scheme across all of Wales as part of the PestSmart project, run by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water.
The scheme will open for registration from Wednesday 14 August until 5pm on Monday 30 September, allowing professional users to safely and confidentially dispose of unwanted, out-of-date or now unlicensed pesticides and other chemicals.
FUW Policy Officer Bernard Griffiths said: “If you find that you have out of date or now unlicensed products on farm, which can be difficult or expensive to dispose of correctly, then we would urge you to register for this scheme.
The Anglesey branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales is looking forward to a busy two-day county show (Tuesday 13 August - Wednesday 14 August), with #FarmingMatters chats, children's competitions and plenty of entertainment on the agenda.
Those keen to raise specific farming matters are welcome to join Rhun ap Iorwerth AM at an open surgery at 11am on the Tuesday at the Union’s stand and those concerned about rural crime are invited to stop by for advice on how to keep their property and livestock safe.
Joining the stand are ‘Quad Claw’, who will be on site for the two days, and Arfon Jones North Wales Police, Police and Crime Commissioner will be on the stand on Tuesday at 12 noon to answer any questions farmers may have.
Speaking ahead of the event, FUW Anglesey CEO Alaw Jones said: “Farming is facing an uncertain future for so many reasons and we look forward to raising some of our concerns with Rhun ap Iorwerth at the show and hope many of you will join us.
“Rural crime, including farm machinery thefts and livestock worrying, is also still a big problem for our farmers and we look forward to discussing this with Arfon Jones at the show.”
Also joining the FUW team at the stand to highlight the importance of good mental health will be the DPJ Foundation and the Samaritans, who are there for both days of the show.