FUW highlights challenges during Ministerial Summit on extreme weather

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has highlighted the challenges farmers are facing due to the wet weather and called for possible interventions during a summit which took place recently (19 April).

Organised by Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies MS, the summit was arranged to examine the impacts of the current prolonged wet weather and to explore what interventions may be necessary from the supply chain to deal with the exceptional circumstances some farmers are facing.

Speaking after the summit, FUW President, Ian Rickman said: “We welcome the opportunity to discuss these very timely issues farmers face following an extremely wet winter. It was positive to see engagement from such a wide range of stakeholders from across the UK food supply chain.

“Some of the interventions we called for included derogations around scheme requirements; many Growing for the Environment contract holders have simply been unable to meet the required sowing dates due to the wet conditions. It’s been impossible for some farmers to comply with their Small Grants Environment contracts due to both the weather and prescriptive dates for when certain works could be completed.”

Other interventions required, in the FUW’s view, include greater flexibility to cross compliance rules and farm inspections. Additionally there is an urgent need to provide capital grant support to farmers for slurry infrastructure and yard coverings in line with reducing the burden on those who are attempting to complete works to meet incoming regulatory requirements.

“Despite numerous calls made by the FUW to delay the third phase of the Control of Agricultural Pollution ‘NVZ’ regulations until the review of the regulations has been completed, this latest edition of wet weather has made it impossible for building contractors to continue with their work. This means that the August deadline for increased slurry storage is looking as challenging as ever.

“Above all else, these past few months have demonstrated the need for any future financial support scheme in Wales to underpin the economic viability of our family farms so that they can continue to navigate such unforeseen circumstances in future.

“Whilst we await news from the Welsh Government on outcomes from the summit, it is recommended for any farmer facing extreme difficulties to seek support and speak with relevant organisations. These include the FUW, Rural Payments Wales, Natural Resources Wales, bank managers, The DPJ Foundation or any other mental health charities. No one should feel alone during these trying times, we’re all here to support one another,” concluded Ian Rickman.


Tel: 01970 820820
Email: post@fuw.org.uk
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