Agricultural Policy

FUW calls for British Wool Coronavirus Support

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has written to Economy Minister, Ken Skates, following the news that British Wool (the new name for the British Wool Marketing Board) has been denied support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CIBLs).

The pandemic has led to a significant drop in demand for wool as the global market for crossbred wool has been shut since February this year. The busiest selling period for GB and Welsh wool is between February and May each year and the impact of the pandemic on wool sales has therefore been particularly acute.

In its letter, the FUW highlighted the impact that the closure of wool markets would have on the price received by sheep farmers for their wool and highlighted that sheep producers must still pay for this year's shearing costs.

Changes to legislation remain essential to combat dog attacks

Avoidable losses, such as those that occur when a dog chases or attacks livestock, remain a significant source of frustration for the livestock sector in Wales.

Industry initiatives, such as the FUW campaign “Your dog, Your responsibility” which widened the message to respecting the countryside, picking up after your dog, keeping dogs on a lead near livestock and making sure dogs don’t escape from home, have had some impact. The number of dog attacks on livestock has shown a decline in recent months; however whether this trend will continue in the longer term remains to be seen and localised reports of attacks continue.

There are currently 4 laws that can be used when examining dog attacks on livestock in England and Wales, however they are all out-of-date and completely unfit for purpose. For example, the 1953 Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act was introduced before DNA could be extracted from a sample and it therefore does not give police forces the power to obtain DNA samples from suspect dogs. Moreover, given that most dog attacks occur in fields with no witnesses, providing police with the power to investigate these crimes is imperative. It is also true that the current laws do not allow for penalties which fit the seriousness of the crime; nor do they allow for adequate compensation for farmers.

New partners to join the rewilding Summit to Sea project

The £3.4 million Summit to Sea rewilding project was launched by Rewilding Britain in October 2018 and aimed to rewild on a scale never before seen in Britain, creating ‘core areas’ supporting low-impact tourism and recreation.

The project targeted some 240 square miles (around 155,000 acres) of land in Montgomeryshire and Ceredigion, an area first earmarked for rewilding in George Monbiot's book Feral, back in 2013.

Following a meeting in the area last July, attended by more than 100 locals, and the subsequent establishment of Cymunedau Oll Pumlumon a’r Ardal (COPA) to oppose the plans, the end result has been the departure of Rewilding Britain from the project and a substantial change in the project's approach and leadership which has been welcomed by the group.

More recently, RSPB Cymru and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have intervened and taken control of the project, proposing a ‘fresh start’ by taking into account all of the concerns raised during the past 18 months.

News in Brief June 2020

i) Chair appointed for New Ruminant Health and Welfare Group
Nigel Miller has been appointed as the Chair of the new Ruminant Health and Welfare Group (RHAWG) for a two year term.

Mr Miller is a former vet and NFU Scotland President. The RHAWG has been established to tackle important diseases of ruminant livestock and contains a variety of stakeholders, including the FUW. The first meeting of the group is expected shortly.

ii) Retail sales of UK beef increased during pandemic
Retail sales data from Kantar Worldpanel show that the total spend on beef during the 12-week period up to 17th May increased by nearly 27 percent year on year.

Industry campaigns encouraging consumers to purchase more prime cuts, such as steaks and joints, had a positive effect on sales. However the uplift in retail sales can only partly make up for the disruption caused following the closure of the foodservice sector during the pandemic.

iii) New Zealand farmers vote to continue DairyNZ funding 
Farmers in New Zealand have voted to continue paying towards DairyNZ. DairyNZ invests dairy producer money into a wide range of activities, such as research and development and also provides advocacy services.

Nearly 12,000 dairy farmers pay the 3.6c per kg Milk Solid levy and 69% of the 6,500 or so respondents voted in favour of continuing to pay for the DairyNZ service.

SAF preliminary check letter notice to Members

Welsh Government has recently issued SAF Preliminary Check Letters on farmers' RPW Online accounts where they believe errors may have been made on the Single Application Form (SAF). Farmers have until the 20th of July to consider the information in the letters and respond to avoid potential penalties.

Members are also reminded that if they do get any notifications from RPW Online during the year, they should be checked immediately as they may relate to important issues and failure to check them and respond could delay payments.

Members should contact their County Office if any help is needed in responding to such notifications.

COVID-19 - Gwybodaeth Bwysig i’n haelodau a chwsmeriaid

Yn dilyn gwasgariad y Coronafeirws (COVID-19), rydym wedi penderfynu amddiffyn aelodau, cwsmeriaid a chyd-aelodau staff trwy gau pob swyddfa FUW. 

Bydd pob aelod o staff yn gweithio oddi ar ein safleoedd am y dyfodol rhagweladwy, golygir y bydd ein timau yn parhau i gynnig yr holl wasanaethau dros ffon/e-bost/skype neu ffyrdd eraill o gyfathrebu o bell. 

Dylai aelodau a chwsmeriaid barhau i gysylltu gyda ni yn yr un modd ag arfer, gellir cysylltu â’r staff trwy ddefnyddio’r rhifau ffôn arferol.  

Byddwn yn sicrhau bod safon ein gwasanaethau yn parhau. Caiff apwyntiadau SAF/IACS barhau fel yr arfer ond fe cant eu gwneud dros y ffôn. 

Gweler manylion cyswllt eich swyddfa leol yma: https://fuw.org.uk/cy/cysylltwch

 

Linciau pwysig ynglŷn â'r Coronafeirws:

 

Mae Hwb TB wedi paratoi rhestr o gwestiynnau a ofynnir yn aml parthed sut caiff prosesau TB eu heffeihtio gan y feirws: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Tractor Coch (Red Tractor) dwieddariad yma: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Cymdeithas Arwerthwyr Da-byw - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Busnes Cymru (sy’n cynnwys gwybdooaeth am gefnogaeth i fusnesau oherwydd y Coronafeirws): https://businesswales.gov.wales/cy/cyngor-coronafeirws

Cynllun benthyg Coronafeirws oherwydd ymyriad i fusnes ar gael trwy fenthycwyr sy'n cymryd rhan: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/  
 
Canllawiau Cymdeithas Genedlaethol y Contractwyr Amaethyddol (NAAC) ar Coronafeirws: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/
 
Gwasanaethau Cofnodi Llaeth Cenedlaethol 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus