Agricultural Policy

Consultations Pending

i) Welsh Government Beyond Recycling - Circular Economy Strategy

Welsh Government is aiming to move towards a circular economy in Wales whereby waste is avoided, as much as possible is recycled and products stay in use for longer. From 1997 to 2017, Wales has transformed from a nation which recycled less than 5% of its municipal waste, to become an international leader that recycles 63%. Likewise, greenhouse gas emissions from waste reduced by 60% between 2001 and 2017.

The consultation looks to produce a strategy that will make Wales:

  • A world leader in recycling
  • Phase out single use plastic
  • Invest in clean technology for materials collection by introducing zero emission vehicles
  • Make more efficient use of our food working with businesses from farm to fork
  • Priorities the purchasing of wood, re-manufactured and recycled content
  • Enable communities to take collective action
  • Support all businesses in Wales to reduce their carbon footprint and become more resource efficient
  • And take full responsibility for our waste

Please follow click here to view the consultation document and associated documents which summarise the strategy. Deadline for responses is 3 April 2020.


ii) Welsh Government Code Of Practice For The Welfare Of Pigs

Welsh Government is running a consultation to give the industry, enforcement agencies, special interest groups and the public an opportunity to comment on the revised Code of Practice for the Welfare of Pigs.

The consultation only contains 2 key questions:

  1. Views on the effects that the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Pigs would have on the Welsh language, specifically on opportunities for people to use Welsh and on treating the Welsh language no less favourably than English.
  2. Views on how the proposed Code of Practice for Pigs could be formulated or changed so as to have positive effects or increased positive effects on opportunities for people to use the Welsh language and on treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language.

There is a final question which asks for any other related issues which could relate to:

  • the style, layout and content of the Code
  • the information, advice and guidance contained

To view the consultation document, revised Code of Practice and to respond, please click here. Deadline for responses is 25 May 2020.

FUW Tells Commissioner that Regulations Must be Future Proofed

Earlier this month, the Farmers Union of Wales met with Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, in order to discuss how the aims of the Well-being of Future Generations Act could positively impact on both public procurement and other issues such as bovine TB regulation.

The Well-being of Future Generations Act requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.

Under the Well-being of Future Generations Act, the Welsh Government is obligated to take account of the long-term impact of their decision making. Given that the current regulation pertaining to a bovine TB breakdown can lead to loss of stock, problems with cash flow, costs of housing and feeding additional stock, loss of business control and uncertainty over the future, there will inevitably be an impact on the emotional well-being of farming families and the long-term success of the business. However, the true impact is likely to have been underestimated.

The FUW’s very real concern is that policies which are not future-proofed will undoubtedly increase mental health issues and poverty among the farming community in Wales and this is in direct opposition to the obligations and aims of the Act.

Given that mental health is inextricably linked to farm business sustainability and solvency, we must fully understand the economic consequences of a bovine TB breakdown in order to future-proof farm businesses.

 

 

Potential for Blue Box Subsidies Increase under CAP Changes Says WTO

According to a report by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), changes in the CAP have allowed a shift in EU farm payments from income support based payments into more Blue Box payment types which can distort trade.

Under WTO rules, the Blue Box is for subsidies that are tied to programmes that limit production and can therefore distort trade. Blue Box payments include payments which relate to animal numbers and acreage but within schemes that also function to limit production in some way or which require land to be set aside.

At present, farm subsidies remain decoupled from both production and prices and this latest WTO report may highlight potential repercussions for UK administrations designing new payment scheme proposals in England and Wales.

 

 

 

FUW Raises Concerns Over New Immigration Point System

Earlier this month, the UK Government announced the end of free movement and the introduction of an Immigration Bill to bring in a points based system designed to cater for highly skilled workers.

Under the new proposals, points will be awarded for a suitable job offer, being able to speak the English language and a salary threshold. The government accepted the Migration Advisory Committee's (MAC) recommendation to lower the salary threshold from 30,000 to 25,600 pounds; with some flexibility for those wishing to take up work in a profession where there is a skills shortage . The salary threshold for the latter has been set at 20,480 pounds. Applicants will also be able to trade characteristics, such as qualifications, against a salary lower than the threshold.

Initiatives are being developed for sectors such as agriculture, however there remains a concern that the current system could result in higher labour costs; particularly for seasonal workers who work long hours and play a vital role in horticulture businesses. Where the points based system leads to a shortage of workers in the processing sector it is likely that throughput will be slowed, reducing efficiency and indirectly forcing farmers to keep stock for longer, increasing costs and bringing potential welfare issues.

The UK Government confirmed that the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Pilot for 2020 would allow for 10,000 pickers to enter the UK for harvest, although Defra Secretary George Eustice requested at least 20,000 spaces.

The FUW have continuously expressed concerns over the potential for post-Brexit labour shortages throughout the agricultural industry and it is essential that future migration policies do not place additional costs upon a sector which already suffers from low profitability and tight margins.

 

Is the UK preparing to break with the EU at WTO meeting?

The City A.M. website has reported that Downing Street is considering taking an independent stance on food safety at a forthcoming WTO meeting, raising concerns that the way is being paved for a US-UK trade deal that would allow the importation of food produced to standards not currently legal in the UK.

The meeting on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures is expected to see the UK making a statement about future intentions in relation to issues such as beef hormones, gene editing, GM foods and the use of acid to wash poultry.

Aside from concerns about allowing imports of food produced to environmental, animal welfare and other production standards which fall short of those legally required of UK farmers, the reports have also raised concerns that such a statement could breach commitments made within the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.

Last November, leaked US-UK trade negotiation documents revealed the degree to which the US wants UK standards to be relaxed to allow imports of food currently illegal in the UK and EU.

 

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