FUW holds #FarmingMatters meeting with Russell George AM

The Montgomeryshire branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales has held positive talks with local AM Russell George, discussing the most critical #FarmingMatters.

Top of the agenda were farm thefts, livestock worrying, the introduction of NVZ’s in the county, as well as the future of farming in light of Brexit.

Speaking after the meeting, FUW Montgomeryshire County Executive Officer Emyr Wyn Davies said: “We had a really good meeting with Russell George and discussed the most critical farming matters.

“Our members are feeling increasingly stressed. An increase in farm thefts, livestock attacks and the continued uncertainty for the future of our sector, are all things that play on farmers minds.

“It seems that rural communities across Wales are being thrown to the wolves by the ongoing Brexit car crash, and we need more than just vague reassurances. Our farmers can’t plan for the future without knowing what market they are selling to, and who their customers are. 

Read more: FUW holds #FarmingMatters meeting with Russell George AM

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Tractor technician Gwern is settling down - and helping keep the rural economy alive

Gwern Williams’ days as a Massey Ferguson engineer, working for many years throughout Europe, South Africa and the Middle East are over. Now he, his wife and two young children are running their own farm, Nantygwyrddail, Islawrdref , near Dolgellau, on a 15 year tenancy with the National Trust, which they took over in October 2017.

But Gwern hasn’t finished with tractors just yet. As well as managing the typical 350 acre Meirionnydd hill farm,  250 of which is mountain land, Gwern runs his own business repairing tractors and machinery to supplement income. 

“There are only about 20 acres of the farm where it is possible to harvest silage,” said Gwern.

“It’s just one of the particular challenges facing this type of farm, with limited land available to keep cattle over winter.”

At present they keep a flock of 130 Welsh mountain ewes, and 10 suckler cows, but hope to gradually increase the stocking in future.

The local FUW branch used the opportunity to show Dafydd Elis Thomas AM the importance of family farms like these and to discuss other matters such as open access to the countryside. 

Read more: Tractor technician Gwern is settling down - and helping keep the rural economy alive

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Brexit Warnings Still Relevant three years on - Says FUW

Three years ago today (24 June), on the day the EU Referendum result was announced, the Farmers’ Union of Wales welcomed then Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to delay invoking Article 50 and called for the UK and EU to agree on a sensible timetable for Brexit.

 

FUW President Glyn Roberts went on to urge the UK Government to start work to build a positive future for farming and the rural economy outside the EU and warned that an EU exit over too short a period would have dire consequences for both the UK and the EU.

 

“There is a monumental amount of work to do in terms of changing domestic arrangements and legislation, including in terms of Welsh devolved legislation, not to mention unravelling us from the EU budget to which we were previously committed, negotiating trade deals and dealing with issues such as border controls.

 

“Such issues will also require a huge amount of work at the EU level, and we do not believe a rapid exit over a couple of years would be in either the UK or the EU’s interests,” said Mr Roberts in June 2016.

Read more: Brexit Warnings Still Relevant three years on - Says FUW

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Future payments must be capped at far lower level says FUW

Tenants and family farms should be protected by capping future scheme payments at well below the 300,000 Euro rate which currently applies in Wales and by strengthening the active farmer rule, the chairman of the Farmers’ Union of Wales Tenants Committee has said.

Under current Common Agricultural Policy rules, EU Member States or regions have, since 2015, been able to voluntarily cap direct farm payments at 300,000 Euros.

Speaking after a meeting of the FUW Tenants committee, chairman David Williams said: “The FUW has supported the capping of payments since 2007, and was instrumental in securing the introduction of a 300,000 euro cap on Welsh direct payments in 2015 to maximise the amount of money going to typical family farms and those who make the greatest contribution to rural communities and the economy.”

Read more: Future payments must be capped at far lower level says FUW

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Fears for the future - FUW calls for good governance to ensure stability for the family farmers of Wales

 

Against a background of complete uncertainty in terms of what Brexit will mean for farming and the nation of Wales, the President of the Farmers' Union of Wales Glyn Roberts has called on Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford for good governance to protect the family farms of Wales at a Grand Council meeting of the Union at  Aberystwyth, today, Monday 17 June.

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