News that the existing Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payment window of 2 December 2019 until 30 June 2020 will be maintained, and a BPS Loan Scheme for farmers who don’t receive their first payment on that date will be provided, has been welcomed by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.
The loan for farmers who do not receive their BPS payment will be worth up to 90% of the claim value. However, while the support scheme will be available to all, it will only be paid to farm businesses who ‘opt-in’ to the scheme, and only if their BPS claim is not ready on the first day of the payment window.
Responding to the announcement, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “This provides much needed certainty for our farmers who are increasingly concerned about cash flow in the upcoming months as we approach our exit from the European Union and the winter period.”
On a cautious note Glyn Roberts added: “Most of the money arriving in the farm account through the BPS will be going straight out to secondary and tertiary businesses. Hundreds of businesses are solely reliant on Welsh agriculture and any delay in the payment of the Basic Payment would have a direct impact on these businesses and their employees.
“The co-operation between all industry stakeholders and Welsh Government illustrates that we can achieve great things for Welsh farming if we work collaboratively.
“This announcement will have many breathing a sigh of relief but I would like to remind the Welsh Government just how important this Direct Support is. It underpins safe top quality food production and must be maintained as a form of public support correcting market failures.
“Abandoning direct support that underpins safe, high-quality food production when our key competitors have no intention of doing the same would damage our economy, environment, landscape, language and culture.”