Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Farming

TFA ready to work with Welsh Government

Published

on

George Dunn, TFA: Profitability and resilience of Welsh farms crucial

TFA CYMRU, The Tenant Farmers Association in Wales, has welcomed the principles for future farm policy in Wales set out by the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM.

TFA Chief Executive George Dunn said​:​ “The Cabinet Secretary has recognised the significant and swift changes that are on the horizon for the farming community and we welcome her determination to ensure that farming continues to be supported as a vital component of the rural economy within Wales. Her reference to farming acting as the ‘social anchor’ of many communities within Wales demonstrates her understanding of the important role that agriculture plays in delivering benefits for the whole of Welsh society.”

“We agree that the significant differences between farming in England and Wales requires the maximum amount of flexibility within the devolution settlement whilst respecting the need to ensure that we have a properly functioning UK single market in which farmers in Wales can continue to do business with other parts of the UK without restriction,” said Mr Dunn.

“TFA Cymru has been particularly active in ensuring that any new Government policy must be focused on active farmers and, for the tenanted sector in particular, we do not want to see any future support becoming capitalised into land rents, land values or otherwise hived off by non-active land owners. The determination of the Cabinet Secretary to keep land managers on the land chimes fully with TFA Cymru policy in this area,” said Mr Dunn.

“TFA Cymru will work constructively with the Welsh Government in pursuing its plans for food production and in assisting farmers to compete in a global marketplace trading on the benefits of ‘brand Wales’. It is vitally important in this respect that we look at the whole of the supply chain to ensure that it is operating as fairly and as competitively as possible,” said Mr Dunn.

“Understandably there is a desire to develop a system of future support based on public payments for public goods and we are pleased that the Cabinet Secretary sees this policy going hand in hand in ensuring the profitability and resilience of Welsh farms,” said Mr Dunn.

“Much will depend on the financial settlement that Wales achieves in terms of the Brexit dividend and TFA Cymru accepts that change is coming. We will want to ensure that farm tenants are able to have the same opportunity to access and benefit from the help and support available alongside their owner occupier neighbours,” said Mr Dunn.

Farming

FUW open letter urges against Brexit protest votes in EU election

Published

on

THE FARMERS’ UNION OF WALES (FUW) has warned that protest votes in Thursday’s election in favour of hard-line Brexit MEPs will damage agriculture, rural communities, and the UK’s reputation on the international stage.

Speaking at the NSA biennial Sheep Event at Glynllifon yesterday (May 21), FUW President Glyn Roberts described the European Elections as one of the most unusual in living memory, but warned votes should not be treated lightly or be used to send a message of frustration to mainstream politicians.

Mr Roberts said: “That frustration is understandable, as is the fatigue we all endure around Brexit, having seen mistakes at every turn and so many promises broken.

“But the dangers of placing symbolic votes for single-issue hard-line Brexit politicians who have no manifestos to speak of cannot be underestimated.”

A vote for those who would see us rapidly exiting the EU – rather than doing so over a realistic and safe timetable – would hit farmers and rural communities hard and cause untold damage to our economy, warned Mr Roberts.

He said: “We must look at the facts, not the rhetoric, and recognise that the only way in which to make Brexit a success is to be patient and cautious.”

The union has long warned of the dangers of trying to untangle too quickly the UK from an EU which it has spent almost half a century becoming more aligned with.

“Rash decisions and votes born of frustration with the failures of mainstream politicians can only lead to long-lasting economic and social damage to our food producers and security, and our communities and nations as a whole,” said Mr Roberts.

Mr Roberts highlighted that import tariff rates, published by the UK Government in mid-March, were a fraction of those which would apply to the tariffs UK farmers would have to pay to export – an approach championed by Nigel Farage, who admitted in 2018 that: “It could be the [sic] lowering of standards in terms of what we buy in our shops, and it could be bad news for farmers.”

In addition, some candidates say that, if elected, they will use their time in the European Parliament to be a disruptive force.

“My fear is that such individuals will send messages across the EU and the World that the UK is anything but a mature country which is open to trade and fit to play a role on the international stage,”said Mr Roberts. “Rather, it will close doors across the World and further undermine our international reputation.

“We must ensure the Members of the European Parliament we do elect genuinely represent Wales and the UK’s long term interests, by acting with respect, honour and diplomacy,” said Mr Roberts.

“We must build bridges with their counterparts and officials from across the European Union – the people with whom the UK will in coming months have to negotiate a favourable trade deal if the affluent markets on our doorstep are to remain open to essential trade.”

Mr Roberts also sent a stark warning about the rise of extremism, saying that symbolic votes for popularist politicians who are very much to the right of conventional politics, some with links to the extreme right, brought to mind what was seen across Europe in the 1930s.

“The frustrations with the Brexit process and desire for ‘Britishness’ is understandable, but – whilst I regard myself as a Welshman, first and foremost – I do not believe that such a lurch to the right would reflect true Britishness. In fact, it would be a move towards the sort of politics against which battles were fought seventy five years ago to protect our nations and freedoms,” Mr Roberts added.

Continue Reading

Farming

Farming faces zero carbon challenge

Published

on

AN AMBITIOUS new target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 will lead to significant changes in farming practices over the coming decades, according to a leading agri-environment specialist.

Professor Iain Donnison, Head of the Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, was responding to the publication of ‘Net Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming’ published by the UK Government Committee on Climate Change.

Professor Donnison is an expert on agriculture and land use, which feature in the report in terms of targets for one-fifth of agricultural land to be used for forestry, bioenergy crops and peatland restoration.

According to Professor Donnison, such a reduction is very ambitious but achievable in Wales and the wider UK. “Land use can positively contribute towards achieving the net zero targets, but there are challenges in relation to emissions from agriculture especially associated with red meat and dairy,” said Professor Donnison.

“In IBERS we are already working on how to make livestock agriculture less carbon intensive and developing new diversification options for the farming of carbon. For example, net zero targets could provide significant diversification opportunities for both farmers and industries that make use of biomass and wood for the production of energy, materials including in construction and for wider environmental benefits.”

Professor Donnison added: “The report gives a clear message regarding the importance of the task and the role that the UK can play to compensate for past emissions and to help play a leadership role in creating a greener future.

“The report says it seeks to be based on current technologies that can be deployed and achievable targets. One-fifth of agricultural land is a very ambitious target but I believe that through the approaches proposed it is achievable (e.g. for bioenergy crops it fits in with published targets for the UK). This is based on the knowledge and technologies we have now regarding how to do this, and because right now in the UK we are developing a new agricultural policy that looks beyond the common agriculture policy (CAP). For example, the 25-year Environment plan published by Defra envisages payment for public goods which could provide a policy mechanism to help ensure that the appropriate approaches are implemented in the appropriate places.

“The scale of the change, however, should not be underestimated, although agriculture is a sector that has previously successfully responded to challenges such as for increased food production. The additional challenge will be to ensure that we deliver all the benefits we wish to see from land: food, carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) management and wider environmental benefits, whilst managing the challenge of the impacts of climate change.

“The link is made between healthy diets with less red meat consumption and future reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. This reflects that agriculture will likely go through significant change over the coming decades as a result of changes in consumer diets.

“Net Zero targets, however, could provide significant diversification opportunities for both farmers and industries that make use of biomass and wood for the production of energy, materials including in construction and for wider environmental benefits.”

Continue Reading

Farming

HSE fees up 20%

Published

on

A FEE imposed on farm businesses found to be in breach of health and safety legislation has gone up nearly 20% to £154/hr.

Since October 2012 the Health and Safety Executive has operated a cost recovery regime, which means that businesses are charged for the costs of an investigation from the point a material breach has been identified through to the point when a decision is made on enforcement action.

If you are found to be in material breach of health and safety law, you will have to pay for the time it takes the HSE to identify the breach and help you put things right. This includes investigating and taking enforcement action. This charging scheme is known as a Fee for Intervention (FFI).

Robert Gazely, farm consultant and health and safety specialist for Strutt & Parker said: “A material breach is something which an inspector considers serious enough that they need to formally write to the business requiring action to be taken. Once an inspector gives a farmer this written notification of contravention (NoC), the farmer will be expected to pay a fee. 

“From 6 April 2019, the hourly charge has been increased from £129 to £154. The final bill will be based on the total amount of time it takes the HSE inspector to identify the breach and their work to help put things right.

“Of course, the primary reason for farms to be proactive in their approach to health and safety should be to protect themselves, their families and any employees.

“The number of people who are killed and injured each year on farms remains stubbornly high and the human cost of these incidents can be incalculable to those affected.

“But taking a safety-first approach should also help farm businesses to avoid a financial hit, as the HSE fees can mount up in the event of an investigation.”

Continue Reading
News3 hours ago

Cleddau Bridge Hotel fire started deliberately

A RESPONSE to a Freedom of Information Act request made by Llanion councillor Joshua Beynon reveals that the fire which...

News1 day ago

Haverfordwest: Police confirm Palmerston Cross road accident was fatal

POLICE have confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald that a person died following a two-vehicle crash in Haverfordwest on Saturday (July...

News2 days ago

Strumble Head: Driver had ‘lucky escape’ after cliff car plunge

A MALE MOTORIST had a lucky escape when his car plunged over the edge of the cliff at Strumble Head,...

News4 days ago

Competitor in Long Course Weekend sadly passes away

A MAN taking part in the Long Course Weekend’s cycling event on Saturday (July 6) has sadly passed away in...

News4 days ago

Church cash box thief jailed

A MAN, who admitted stealing a money box from St Katherine’s Church in Milford Haven, has been jailed for 12...

News6 days ago

Lifeboats and helicopter in rescue of sinking passenger boat

HM COASTGUARD has coordinated the evacuation and rescue of 21 passengers and two crew from a small pleasure vessel which...

News6 days ago

Milford Haven: Mount Estate rape accused to appear in court

A 43-YEAR-OLD man is from Milford Haven is to appear at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court to answer a charge of rape....

News1 week ago

Narberth: Male cyclist airlifted to hospital following Long Course incident

A MALE casualty has been taken by an air ambulance to hospital following an incident during todays stage of the...

News1 week ago

Trafalgar Public House sealed off, large police presence in Milford Haven

THERE was a large police presence in Milford Haven on Friday (Jul 05) following reports of an attempted robbery. Police...

News1 week ago

Public invited to Port’s Annual Stakeholder Meeting

THE PORT OF MILFORD HAVEN will be holding its Annual Stakeholder Meeting on Friday 26th July at 2:30pm in the...

Popular This Week