Agricultural Policy

Expression of Interest Window Dates March 2021

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Farming Connect What’s On

As a result of the pandemic, Farming Connect has taken the decision to postpone all open events and one-to-many events until further notice. They are conducting a number of activities digitally or over the phone where possible.

More information can be found here:
https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/whats-on

 

Farm Business Grant (FBG)

The 8th FBG expression of interest window is now open and will close on 9 April 2021. Online forms will be available to complete via RPW Online.

Further guidance and a list of eligible items can be found here.

9 April 2021
Transfer of BPS Entitlements 2021

Farmers can now transfer their BPS Entitlements by sale, lease or via inheritance.

This must be completed via RPW Online. Please note that the entitlement values displayed on your account are subject to change.

15 May 2021
Basic Payment Scheme 2021 Payments

All Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2021 payments will be made in sterling.

Subject to claim eligibility and receipt of all necessary Supporting Documents, Welsh Government intend to make a BPS Advance Payment from 15 October 2021 of 70% of the anticipated final BPS 2021 claim value.

There will be no need to separately apply for this advance payment.

BPS 2021 Balance Payments will commence from 15 December 2021.

 
Free & Confidential Pesticide Disposal Scheme 2021

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water will once again be running their free and confidential pesticide disposal scheme in 2021. They intend to open the registration process during April 2021, but in the meantime to find out more and to register for updates, click here.

 
Nuffield Farming Scholarships Applications for the 2021 Nuffield Farming Scholarships are now open.

Successful applicants tend to be from those working in farming, food or horticulture and are provided a substantial bursary to fund travel to study their chosen topic.

Further information and details on how to apply can be found here: https://www.nuffieldscholar.org/
31 July 2021

FUW urging Members of the Senedd to vote against draconian Water Quality Regulations

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is urging anyone who wants to see an effective and targeted approach to improving water quality without threatening the viability of farm businesses to contact their local Member of the Senedd (MSs) urging them to vote to annul the recently laid Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations on 3rd March.

Following years of work by stakeholders as part of the Wales Land Management Forum Agricultural Pollution Sub Group and the submission in April 2018 of a report outlining 45 recommendations to Welsh Government, they chose on 27th January to copy and paste 30 year old EU Nitrate Vulnerable Zone rules, rebranding them the Water Resources Regulations.

Despite the fact that even NRW - the principal advisor to Welsh Government on issues relating to the environment and its natural resources - has previously warned that the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) approach may have the “perverse outcome” of worsening water quality and supported the 45 recommendations, these new regulations will impose NVZ rules across the whole of Wales.

To summarise, this will include closed periods for spreading fertiliser and slurry, no end of paperwork in regard to nutrient management plans, the production of risk maps including calculations of slurry production and nitrogen content and further the requirement to be able to store 5 months worth of slurry during the 4 month October to January closed period.

Trade disruptions continue following end of Brexit transition period

The EU trade of UK food and drink products continues to face disruption following the end of the Brexit Transition Period.

A signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and EU and the avoidance of tariffs of up to 50% on some agricultural products as a result was welcomed, although teething problems were still to be expected in regard to border bureaucracy and additional checks.

However, it seems that lorries full of consignments worth tens of thousands of pounds are still being turned away at ports due to single errors amongst boxes of paperwork and variations in the attention to detail of Export Health Certificates (EHCs), to name just some examples, continue to be reported during meetings with UK Stakeholders.

It is particularly concerning that many of these teething problems are now becoming long term issues that need to be addressed, despite the fact that export trade levels are anywhere between 20 and 50% of normal levels and that live animal exports are practically non-existent due to the lack of custom posts on the continent.

Farming Unions and Wales YFC express concerns surrounding Agriculture White Paper

The FUW, NFU Cymru and Wales YFC have sent a joint letter to the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths expressing concerns around the future direction of Welsh agricultural policy following the publication of the Agriculture (Wales) White Paper.

The letter calls for the Minister to reconsider what a future policy should deliver for Wales given that little has changed over the three consultation processes since 2018 and that there remains a lack of ambition for the future of farming in Wales.

It also states that “the direction of travel proposed does not appear to reflect the uniqueness of Welsh farming, built around family farms delivering for our economy, our landscape, language and culture. Instead, and most worryingly, it looks as though we are implementing a policy based on a very narrow definition of public goods, policy thinking very similar to what we have seen emanate from elsewhere, rather than a policy ‘Made in Wales’.”

The industry recognises and embraces the need for change in the belief that the main opportunity from Brexit was to develop an agricultural policy in Wales for Wales that focussed on its people, the land used for farming and the production of food.

Defra responds to contractual relationships in the UK dairy industry consultation

Defra has submitted a summary of responses to the contractual practice in the UK dairy sector consultation which ran from June to September 2020 asking for views from processors and producers on the need for a potential reform in terms of UK dairy contracts.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales’ (FUW) response represented views from its Milk & Dairy Produce Committee and dairy producers from across Wales and it is positive to note that the majority of responses from producers submitted similar views, painting a clear picture for Defra and the devolved Governments to take forward.

The responses provide strong evidence that legislation for dairy contracts is necessary and that a statutory baseline is required to ensure that all contracts meet an acceptable standard. As was proposed by the FUW, the majority of respondents including producers and processors agreed that legislation should be flexible and transparent and that particular details such as notice periods and volumes should be agreed by the contracting parties, providing that minimum standards are met and that details within the contracts are clear.

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COVID-19 - Important Information for our members and customers

 

In view of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve taken the decision to help protect members, customers and colleagues by closing all FUW offices.

All staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, meaning our team will be continuing with exactly the same service but over the phone/email/skype or other means of remote communication instead. 

Members and customers should continue to contact us as they would, as all our team can be contacted via the usual phone numbers. 

We will be making sure that our service levels are maintained. SAF/IACS appointments will carry on as normal but will be conducted over the phone. 

Contact details for your local office can be found here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/contact-us 

 

Important links relating to the Coronavirus:


The TB Hub have prepared a list of FAQs regarding how TB procedures will be affected by the virus: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses): https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus

Senedd Research Blog: https://seneddresearch.blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-constituency-support/