Welsh farmers urged to speak out over ‘souped-up Glastir payments’

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is urging all those with an interest in the survival of the Welsh rural economy to attend one of its information evenings.

The Welsh Government’s proposal to replace ‘single farm payments’ with a single agri-environment or ‘public goods’ scheme.

The Welsh Government’s ‘Brexit and Our Land: Securing the future of Welsh farming’ consultation, which closes on October 30, 2018, proposes phasing out direct support for farmers by 2025, and replacing them with “payments for public goods”, accompanied by a “resilience scheme” aimed at farm business improvement and development.

Glyn Roberts, FUW president, said: “While farmers across the country are busy planning how to cope with the imminent winter shortages, it is important they take a longer view of their businesses given what the Welsh Government is currently consulting on.

In blunt terms, they propose replacing the Basic Payments which makes up around 80% of farm incomes with what is a souped-up Glastir agri-environment scheme.

“Given that Scotland and Northern Ireland intend to keep direct farm payments, as does every country in the EU, Welsh farmers should ask themselves how they would fare in a world without direct farm support when their counterparts in Scotland or Ireland continue to receive payments.

Roberts said that while the EU is looking at strengthening the ‘active farmer’ criteria to ensure money goes to family farms, the Welsh Government proposes making a future scheme open to anyone with land.

He added that this was something the that would lead to a massive flow of funding away from Wales’ rural economy to charities and big business.

“Farmers, agricultural contractors, mechanics, feed merchants and anyone else with an interest in Wales’ rural economy should make their views clear by responding to the consultation,” he said.

“Over the coming weeks, the FUW will be hosting open meetings across Wales so people can discuss and respond directly to the proposals and I hope many of you will be there.”

Meeting dates

Open meetings across Wales will be held on the following dates:

  • Anglesey: September 18, 2018, 7:30pm: Mona Cae Sioe, The Showground, Gwalchmai, Holyhead LL65 4RW;
  • Breconshire and Radnorshire: September 13, 2018, 7:30pm: FUW Pavilion, RWAS Showground Llanelwedd, Builth Wells LD2 3NJ;
  • Caernarfonshire: September 12, 2018, 7:30pm: Grwp Llandrillo Menai-safle Glynllifon, Caernarfon LL54 5DU;
  • Carmarthenshire: September 6, 2018, 7.30pm: Halfway Inn, Nantgaredig, Carmarthen, SA32 7NL;
  • Ceredigion: September 5, 2018, 7.30pm: Aberaeron Rugby Club, SA460JR;
  • Denbighshire: September 17, 2018, 7:30pm: Brookhouse Mill, Ruthin Road, Denbigh LL16 4WS, TBC;
  • Flintshire: September 10, 2018, 7.30pm: Plas Hafod, Gwernymynydd, Mold CH7 5JB;
  • Glamorgan: September 11, 2018, 7.30pm: Grove Golf Club, Porthcawl, CF33 4RP;
  • Gwent: September 10, 2018, 7:30pm: Monmouthshire Livestock Market, Raglan, NP15 2BH;
  • Meirionnydd: September 3, 2018, 7:30pm: Rugby Club, Dolgellau, LL40 1UU;
  • Montgomeryshire: September 6, 2018, 7:30pm: Elephant & Castle, Newtown, SY16 2BQ;
  • Pembrokeshire: September 11, 2018, 7:30pm: The Picton Centre, Haverfordwest, SA61 1UG.

For further information please contact your local FUW county office.