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Farmers chief call for UK Government to ‘put its money where its mouth is’ to support Welsh agriculture

20 Jul 2023 2 minute read
Farmers’ Union of Wales President Ian Rickman and David TC Davies.

Farmers’ Union of Wales President Ian Rickman has called for the UK Government to commit to funding “outside of the Barnett Formula” to support Welsh farmers.

His comments were made during a meeting with the Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies in London.

Uncertainties faced by the farming industry in Wales and what support is required from Government were top of the agenda during the discussions, which included the Welsh Government’s proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme which will be put in place by 2025.

The program encourages farmers to commit to reducing their carbon footprint, enhancing biodiversity, and supporting natural ecosystems.

In exchange, farmers will qualify for financial assistance to offset the costs of implementing these practices.

Mr Rickman said: “Whilst it is vitally important that the Welsh Government design a scheme that truly works for every farm in Wales, it is also imperative we have the budget to deliver it.

“The UK Government must put its money where its mouth is and show its commitment to Welsh agriculture by delivering the necessary funding from 2025, outside of the Barnett Formula.”

Veterinary declarations

Another post-Brexit change facing the industry, which is cause for concern, is the requirement for veterinary declarations for EU exports.

The regulation will come into force on 13 December 2023 and relates to the export of animals / animal parts into the EU.

Whilst meat may be destined for the UK market, the export of animal parts and hides, into the EU means that the vast majority of farmers, who are not members of a Farm Assurance scheme, will require a veterinary declaration.

The FUW has raised concerns that the UK Government has committed to an arduous scheme without recognition of current limitations and the subsequent difficulties of having an evidence chain that runs throughout the supply chain.

Mr Rickman added: “We believe this requirement represents more ‘gold-plating’ of EU regulation.

“However, given that this regulation will come into force later this year, we need the UK Government and DEFRA to work with the industry to ensure a system to accommodate the requirement exists and is fit for purpose.”

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