FUW is fighting agricultural pollution proposals

If current Welsh Government proposals go ahead, from January 1 2020 all registered holdings across Wales, regardless of size, will have to comply with new land management regulations aimed at improving water quality. To all intents and purposes, the proposals mirror the regulations which apply in Wales’ Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, which currently cover just 2.3 per cent of Wales’ landmass. 

While this alone will fill most FUW members with dread, in reality, the full implications and complexity of what is planned can only be understood by considering the full proposals - proposals that the FUW is committed to fight.

Agricultural pollution is a concern for every farmer: A single pollution incident can cause huge harm to wildlife and the environment, while the steady, periodic or combined leaching of pollutants can lead to damaging concentrations of nitrates or other chemicals, resulting in problems such as algal blooms and the contamination of water supplies.

And of course, pollution brings with it financial costs for farm businesses - whether directly, as a result of fines; or a result of the loss of valuable nutrients from soils and other adverse impacts.

Thankfully, the data available for agricultural pollution incidents from January 2010 to February 2018 shows only 1 per cent of farms in Wales to have been recorded as having a substantiated pollution incident, but some of those that have been attributed to farming were catastrophic, adding to existing pressures from members of the public, charities and other bodies to tighten up farming regulations.

Such pressures, which have been exacerbated by unusually wet periods in recent years, come against a background of legislative pressure due to Nitrate Vulnerable Zone and Water Framework Directive legislation. For these reasons, the FUW has worked with others for decades to help address agricultural pollution in a proportionate and targeted way.

In recent years, a large proportion of this work has been through the FUW’s membership of the Welsh Land Management Forum (WLMF), chaired by Natural Resources Wales, and in particular the WLMF agricultural pollution sub-group, which has met monthly over the past two years.

Following a consultation on the expansion of Wales’ Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and a request from Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths, in April 2018 the group submitted a detailed report and 45 recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary.

Read more: FUW is fighting agricultural pollution proposals

  • Created on .

Farmers quiz Election hopefuls at Glamorgan hustings

Farmers from the Vale of Glamorgan came together to quiz the general election hopefuls in an agricultural husting event, which was held at the Bear Hotel in Cowbridge. 

The well-attended event, which was hosted in partnership with NFU Cymru, heard from Alun Cairns (Conservative), Belinda Loveluck-Edwards (Labour) and Anthony Slaughter (Green Party), as the candidates outlined their party policies before the floor was opened to questions from the audience.

FUW Glamorgan chairman Richard Walker said: “I would like to thank the candidates who joined us on the night for their contributions and the thought-provoking conversations. 

“It was by no means a single subject discussion and our farming members engaged with the candidates about some of the more local issues that affect their livelihood and community. 

Read more: Farmers quiz Election hopefuls at Glamorgan hustings

  • Created on .

FUW welcomes BPS announcement but warns system must be developed - not scrapped

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has welcomed today’s (Monday, November 25) announcement by Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths that 75% of farmers (almost 12,000) will receive their full BPS 2019 payment on day one of the payment window, while businesses that do not receive their full payment, and have applied for the BPS Support scheme, will receive up to 90% of their BPS 2019 claim value.

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “We understand the Welsh Government has been under pressure due to preparations for Brexit and therefore welcome the fact that despite the challenges 75% of farmers will receive their BPS payment.

“The Minister’s decision to once again implement a loan scheme this year was also very welcome, and we have encouraged all our members to apply, and helped many thousands to do just that.

“I would also urge those farmers who have not applied for the BPS loan yet, to do so before the November 29 deadline,” he added.

Those who have applied for the BPS loan, worth around 90% of their estimated 2019 BPS payment, can expect their money to be with them from 9 December. 

Read more: FUW welcomes BPS announcement but warns system must be developed - not scrapped

  • Created on .

FUW outlines key ask of next UK Government in manifesto

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has today (Monday, 25 November 2019) launched its General Election manifesto, outlining what it considers the priorities for the next UK Government should be in terms of agriculture. 

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Brexit has split Parliament, political parties and the nation, leading to fifty ministerial resignations, expulsions from and defections between parties and the defeat of the UK Government in a series of court cases both in England and Scotland.

“Whilst some have sought to paint Brexit as a simple process, and those who oppose implementing it rapidly as failing to respect the outcome of the referendum, the events since the May 2017 election have confirmed the FUW’s view, made clear the day after the EU Referendum, that Brexit should take place over a safe and realistic timescale.

Read more: FUW outlines key ask of next UK Government in manifesto

  • Created on .

Farming Unions to host General Election hustings in Monmouthshire

Both farming unions, NFU Cymru and the Farmers’ Union of Wales, have come together in Monmouthshire to ensure that their membership has the opportunity to quiz the prospective parliamentary candidates for the constituency at an upcoming General Election hustings. 

The hustings, which will take place on Wednesday 27 November at the Monmouthshire Livestock Centre at 3.30 pm, will give members the opportunity to hear from the candidates about their respective parties’ policies for agriculture. 

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.”

 

  • Created on .

Farming Unions and YFC to host General Election hustings for Carmarthenshire West and Pembrokeshire

Both farming unions and the local YFC have come together in Carmarthenshire to ensure that their membership has the opportunity to quiz the prospective parliamentary candidates for the Carmarthenshire West and Pembrokeshire constituencies at an upcoming General Election hustings. 

The hustings, which will take place on Monday 2 December at Carmarthen Athletic Rugby Club, Alltycnap Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen, SA31 3QY at 7.30pm, will give members the opportunity to hear from the candidates about their respective parties’ policies for agriculture. 

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.”

  • Created on .