Agricultural Policy

News in Brief February 2021

i) New Chair at Hybu Cig Cymru

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has recently announced that Catherine Smith will take over from Kevin Roberts as Chair of Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales as of 1st April 2021.

Catherine, who has a degree in Food and Consumer Management and is a food business consultant with over 20 years’ experience in the red meat sector, will be the first woman to undertake the role as Chair of HCC.

ii) Concerns raised as Defra employs new official to focus on Common Land

The Foundation for Common Land (FCL) recently raised concerns with the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee regarding the potential risk of Commoners in England being unable to access the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) while direct payments are continued to be phased out.

Defra has since appointed a new official with no prior knowledge to focus on the policy for Common Land however, the FCL claims that Defra has a “high level of ambition for introducing the new ELM scheme on English common land, but a low level of preparedness to do so”, and has offered to provide training to Defra staff given the complexity of Commons.

iii) Levy payers vote against AHDB in the horticulture sector

Of the 1,400 horticultural levy payers in England who pay for AHDB in the horticulture sector, 61% voted in a ballot on 15th February to reject the continuation of the statutory levy.

Although the ballot entailed a simple yes or no question for what is a complex matter in relation to value of levy, farm size and crop type, Defra Ministers and the devolved administrations - who are not bound by the ballot’s findings - will now scrutinise these results closely before making a final decision.



#Run1000 challenge a success for UK rural mental health charities

During January 2021, the #Run1000 challenge called on people from Wales, England, Ireland or Scotland to join their respective Country and race to run 1,000 miles for charity.

The initiative was set up in 2020 to coincide with #AgMentalHealthWeek with the £20 joining fee from each participant going to five farming and rural mental health charities: The Farming Community, Embrace Farm, The Do More Agriculture Foundation, RSABI and The DPJ Foundation.

In total, 1,200 participants ran 64,785 miles and raised £45,438 for the five charities, and the team from the FUW Ltd. group contributed 1,156 miles to the overall total.

Led by The DPJ Foundation founder Emma Picton-Jones, Wales was the first Country to reach the 1,000 mile milestone, ran the longest distance overall and had the most participants at 567 runners, raising a total of £12,700.

AHDB Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Express Calculator available for dairy farmers

AHDB has launched a new KPI Express Calculator to help dairy farmers benchmark their performance figures against other farms. Understanding how your farm business is performing is critical for making decisions on how to improve performance and set future targets.

The tool can compare data on up to 9 key performance indicators for improving productivity and profitability against the top 5%, 25% or average farms in order to identify areas for improvement.

The tool along with guidance, relevant resources and case studies can be found here:

Birch Farm Plastics to operate a collection service from Spring 2021

Birch Farm Plastics has announced plans to operate a collection service for farm plastics from Spring 2021.

With a new producer and manufacturer led project, it is hoped that the new collection service will divert much more agricultural film into recycling rather than landfill and support all farmers who are likely to be already paying an eco contribution on silage film.

The eco contribution goes to the Agriculture Plastics Environment (APE) to subsidise the costs of recycling the plastic waste with the aim of keeping costs as low as possible.

In order to intervene and address the volumes of farm plastics, Birch Farm Plastics aim to prioritise and increase collection points where groups of farmers can be collected together.

Further details and costs will be provided in due course however, farmers are able to express an interest for plastic collection in early Spring by contacting Birch Farm Plastics on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.k or 01792 869776.


Defra hosts webinar series on importing products of animal origin

In April 2021, there will be a further set of changes coming into effect on imports of products of animal origin (POAO) for human consumption, as outlined in the Border operating Model. These changes affect imports of food and drink containing animal products.

Register below for to attend a webinar:

Importing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) from the European Union into Great Britain
22/02/2021 14:00-15:00 - Register here

Importing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) from the European Union into Great Britain- With a focus on Composites
01/03/2021 14:00-15:00 - Register here

Importing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) from the European Union into Great Britain
08/03/2021 14:00-15:00 - Register here

Importing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) from the European Union into Great Britain- With a focus on Composites
15/03/2021 14:00- 15:00 - Register here

Importing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) from the European Union into Great Britain- With a focus on Fish & Fish Products
22/03/2021 14:00-15:00 - Register here

Importing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) from the European Union into Great Britain
29/03/2021 14:00-15:00 - Register here



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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: 


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:

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here:

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020:

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses):

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders:

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus:

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020:

Senedd Research Blog: