In a meeting with Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths, the Farmers’ Union of Wales has stressed the need for urgent contingency planning to buffer the potential harmful consequences of a hard Brexit.
FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Both the Welsh Government and FUW are in full agreement that allowing us to leave the EU without retaining full access to the Single Market would be catastrophic.
“We had a very frank discussion with the Cabinet Secretary about the risks of a hard Brexit and current speculation that such an outcome may be more likely than was previously the case.”
Mr Roberts said that the barriers to selling into the EU market due to a hard Brexit could have a similar impact on livestock prices to the export bans introduced in 2001 and 2007 as a result of Foot and Mouth disease.
Read more: Need for contingency planning stressed by FUW in meeting with Cabinet Secretary
In a special meeting with Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns and Defra Secretary Michael Gove the Farmers’ Union of Wales has highlighted the need for further clarity on how agricultural funding will be allocated to Wales after Brexit.
Speaking after the meeting, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Both Secretaries of State have provided assurances that Wales will receive the same allocation of agricultural funding until 2022, and that this would take place outside the Barnett Formula.”
Mr Roberts said that this had been a key message of the FUW’s #FairFarmFunding campaign, and that the repeated assurances are very welcome.
Read more: FUW seeks next steps on funding assurances from Secretaries of State
Monday July 23 marked the return of tens of thousands of visitors to Llanelwedd, where the Royal Welsh Show commenced in a flurry of activity.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys Dafydd Llywelyn helped kick-start proceedings, as he welcomed a panel of experts to discuss matters of rural and wildlife crime with members of the public. The panel consisted of six members from key stakeholders and commentators, including Natural Resources Wales, North Wales Police, Farmers' Union of Wales, Chief Constable Mark Collins of Dyfed-Powys Police, the Wales lead for Wildlife Crime and Rural Affairs, Gwent Police, and the veteran agriculture broadcaster and journalist, Anna Jones.
The Forum coincided with the publishing of the 2018 National Rural Crime Network Survey 2018, which revealed that low expectations, under reporting, perceived poor response and outcomes as well as worry are all contributing factors to an increased fear of crime amongst our rural communities. Furthermore, results shows that around a third of crimes in rural areas go unreported to Police, and is rising. The judgement was unanimous; to address this, agencies must take a proactive approach toward policing rural areas, and that this must be reflected in organisational policy and decision making.
Read more: Are we doing enough to tackle rural crime in Wales?
The announcement that the Wales Farm Safety Partnership will receive £46,000 to promote Health and Safety within the agricultural and forestry sector, has been described as a milestone in tackling the problem by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.
The funding will be used to support the Partnership’s campaign ‘Working together to make farming safer’.
FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “This is a milestone in tackling the issue of farm safety and I welcome the announcement wholeheartedly.
Read more: Funding for farm safety welcomed by FUW
Farmers from all over Wales enjoyed a constructive meeting with Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths, focusing strongly on the recently launched Welsh Government consultation paper on post-Brexit agricultural and land use policies.
FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “This was a constructive meeting and we have raised numerous concerns about what is being proposed in this consultation document and our members have been quite outspoken about some of the proposals.
Read more: Members enjoy constructive discussion with Cabinet Secretary at Royal Welsh Show
The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) says the current and coming impacts of the weather on Wales’ farming industry should be a key focus for governments, and should not be forgotten amidst other important debates to do with Brexit and future rural policies.
Speaking at the FUW’s pre-Royal Welsh Show press conference, FUW President Glyn Roberts said that while concerns about issues such as post-Brexit trade deals or future agricultural policies were of critical importance, the need to look after animals now and ensure there is enough fodder to look after them through the winter must be a priority.
Read more: Impact of weather mustn’t be eclipsed by Brexit debate