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Welsh farmers’ union ‘extremely angry’ about ‘reckless’ New Zealand trade deal

02 Mar 2022 3 minute read
Glyn Roberts. FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has said its members are “extremely angry” about the UK Government’s trade deal with New Zealand.

It has accused Boris Johnson’s Conservative administration in Westminster of having a reckless approach to food security and agriculture in response to the announcement that the post-Brexit agreement has been signed.

FUW President Glyn Roberts has spoken out after raising grave concerns with UK Government Ministers at St David’s Day events in Westminster.

He said: “Farmers are extremely angry that the UK Government is pursuing trade deals that their own figures confirm will be damaging to our food and farming sectors and undermine our food security.

“We need look no further than what is happening in Ukraine and in relation to gas and fuel supplies to see how rapidly things can change on the global stage, yet the UK Government’s trade policy is recklessly undermining our food security by shifting reliance to countries that are tens of thousands of miles away.”

The agreement would see the amount of beef that can be imported tariff-free from New Zealand rise immediately to 12,000 then gradually to 38,820 tonnes in ten years time. Further rises would occur in the subsequent five years, after which there would be no limit.

For lamb, the amount that could be imported tariff-free would increase by 35,000 tonnes per annum in years one to four, then by 50,000 tonnes per annum in years five to fifteen, after which there would be no limit.

Tariffs on cheese and butter will be phased out over five years.

‘Impact assessment’ 

Mr Roberts added: “The impact assessment for the New Zealand deal estimates it will lead to a fall in the GVA of the sector categories into which food and farming fall of £129 million – which they admit is ‘primarily driven by increased import competition in beef’. This would be on top of an estimated fall in the GVA of those sectors of £278 million as a result of the equally liberal deal signed with Australia in December.

“Meanwhile, the benefits to our economy as a whole would be miniscule – an estimated increase of 0.03% in our GDP, meaning we would need around 130 similar deals to make up for the reduction in our GDP anticipated as a result of Brexit,” said

“The cumulative damage to our food and farming sector of these deals and others that are in the pipeline at a time when rural budgets are being slashed and regulations for our own farmers are being hiked up hardly sends out a positive message about the UK Government’s support for agriculture.

“There is a growing feeling within the industry that these policies represent an existential threat to our rural communities and food security.”


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Erasmus
Erasmus
9 months ago

Lots of Brexit benefits, just none for Wales.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
9 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

There are?

Where??

defaid
defaid
9 months ago

New Zealand.

Jeff Williams
Jeff Williams
9 months ago

This was always going to happen with Brexit, as many people pointed out during the Referendum Campaign. The “existential threat to rural communities” will mean absolutely nothing to London, who see the abandoning of farms as an opportunity for wind farm development, afforestation and rewilding. The fact that the Welsh Government is supporting Westminster in this amounts to a national scandal. The history books of the future will note: ‘For Farming see Mining’.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

That was what you should have said about Brexit…Doh!

G Horton-Jones
G Horton-Jones
9 months ago

Wales has to be in the position to make her own trade deals with other countries.

The irony is that the farming communites have been labelled as politically conservative whilst in Wales they have been systematically shafted by the Conservatives in Westminster

Gareth
Gareth
9 months ago

Why is it, that the loudest voices complaining about the effects of Brexit, are coming from farmers and the fishing industry. You wanted Brexit, you voted for Brexit, and you got Brexit. Just get on with it, stop complaining, you were warned and refused to listen. Will they even think twice about voting Tory next time, I doubt it.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Corruption in the Tory Party is so widespread that we cannot even comment. I suppose this would explain Item no 1

hdavies15
hdavies15
9 months ago

So all this meat travels more than half way around the world at huge cost and damage to the environment -unnecessary food miles ? UK Gov must be bonkers fostering such toxic activity when on the other hand they are having multiple orgasms about chasing Net Zero. Politics and economics of the madhouse. Customers must be far more careful what they buy. Imports will only thrive if there’s a market for them.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
9 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

You have no idea how bonkers it all is. Because the Antipodes meat trade requires giant freezer ships which cannot dock in England they all go to Europoort where they get trans-shipped here. That now makes them EU exports so the more the idiot Truss buys cheap from down under, the more red tape, S & PS work and higher EU tariffs get paid.
As for customer choice, do you know where the chicken in your soup originated or the topping on your pizza?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
9 months ago

This is one of the reasons why we have to gain independence.Our country was already poor, now we have Brexit which will lead to more poverty. It’s time to end this.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
9 months ago

Ruddy Kiwis! Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile.

They’ll be beating us at rugby, next!

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