No Incentive For Welsh Farmers To Produce Food

20 Jan

I’ve already posted about this decision, but NFU Cymru have sent an update, here it is published in full:

“The incentive to produce food for food security has been taken away from Welsh farmers by the Minister’s decision to siphon off 15% into Pillar 2,” that was the message from Rhys Jones, the newly elected Chairman for NFU Cymru in Carmarthenshire, to the guest speaker, Andrew Slade, the WG Director of Agriculture, during the recent County Conference.

Ed Bailey, NFU Cymru President, agreed with Rhys Jones, who farms near Llanwrda, and added, “I am still struggling to believe, almost a month on, that our Minister has decided to transfer 15% from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 when he doesn’t yet know what he’s going to spend it on. There is no doubt in my mind that this will leave us disadvantaged against our competitors in other parts of the UK as well as in Europe. The Minister states this decision will make Welsh farming more resilient in the future – I fear this has the potential to make some even less resilient.”

Garry Williams, the newly elected Vice Chairman for Carmarthenshire shared his concerns with Andrew Slade regarding the money being spent within Pillar 2. Mr Williams said, “I went to college and a lot of my fellow farmers went to college to learn how to improve their farm business management skills. I am concerned about how much money will be put into Pillar 2 to give farmers business advice – and I question the quality of some of that advice. I don’t want to see Rural Development Plan money squandered and lost in this way. We are the ones farming the land and we should be able to decide how best to run our own businesses.”

Mr Slade, Director of Agriculture, Food & Marine within the Welsh Government, explained that the Minister would be consulting the industry on the next Rural Development Plan in the near future and he urged everyone to use that consultation to air their views as it was a shared endeavour and everyone has a stake.

Euryn Jones, Agriculture Manager for HSBC, the event sponsor, said, “Now that we have had the majority of announcements from the Welsh Government about CAP farmers need to start looking carefully at how their business will be impacted on. It was good to hear from Mr Slade that 80% of Welsh farming businesses won’t see an enormous change to their single farm payments but at HSBC we are more concerned for the 20% that it will have an impact on. There is a concern that the industry won’t respond quickly enough to the changes this reform will bring. Now is the time to start talking to your bank about how to respond to the situation.”

Rhys Jones, Carmarthenshire County Chairman, thanked HSBC for sponsoring the event and Andrew Slade for addressing the conference regarding the recent CAP decisions. He said, “Wales has some of the best produce in the world, all we require in return for this is proper recompense from the market place and where this fails, support to make good this shortfall.”

Well this is proof, if further proof was needed, that our Minister, Alun Davies is not just upsetting and annoying food producers and food festival organisers but farmers, a group with two trade unions supporting them, who are still being treated by him with scant regard.  I fail to see how our Minister can say how important Welsh food and drink is to Wales and then stab our farmers in the back, how does that work?

My thanks to NFU Cymru and our Best Of Welsh producers who have kindly kept me in this loop.



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  1. Farmer

    January 21, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Stitched up by the Minister what an utter disgrace.
    Comments have been made on here that our unions are fighting for us, which is true, but if you have a Minister who doesn’t understand farming, who doesn’t really converse and listen to our unions, then he’s going to finish off many famers. Our industry is tough enough that you expect the Minister to help, not crucify us.
    Minister says he’s behind Welsh food, it’s vital to Wales well where does he think most food starts off from – Welsh farms that’s where! Unless he prefers to import more and more food he has made a stupid error.

  2. farmer too

    January 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    This Minister is totally out-of-touch with farming.
    The reality is, he doesn’t understand the problems we are facing and has made very little effort to find out.
    Oh to have a civil service job, be sat all day in a warm office, salary paid each month without fail, holidays paid without fail, sickness paid without fail, and a pension paid without fail too. There’s a lot of security there.
    Any civil servant fancy a job swap?

  3. farmer's wife

    January 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    It is so sad that we have a Minister who has the final say on farming and what happens in food but he doesn’t understand or get what we are living through.
    We cannot control nature and we certainly cannot control him
    Goodness knows who is advising him on farming, maybe a specialist in computers got that advisory job!

  4. Foodie

    January 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    The Minister states he is looking to the future. This future includes small family farms going to the wall, and large industrial type farms taking over. He does not seem to realise that small family farms spend their money within 20 miles of their homes, keep the villages alive, provide jobs, keep the other industries such as feed merchants, vets, mechanics, contractors working. He has a supermarket mentality, so we can look forward to a countryside without people, animals and communities.
    He transfered the money to Pillar 2. He has not said what this will be used for, but as all the people will have moved from the countryside, it is difficult to see what this will be used for.

  5. producer

    January 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I feel sorry for anyone farming as if this industry was not tough enough we now have a minister who doesn’t understand either farming or food.
    There’s no hope for us, there really isn’t
    Any civil service jobs going? Because the grass is sure greener on their side.

  6. Farmer/Producer

    January 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    It’s a myth that this government cares about food.
    This super site gives the true story as the government are content with their spin because it’s not their lives going down and down
    Supporting food? That is a joke in poor taste.

  7. Farmer

    January 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    A minister for food should support food and farmers – it’s not that difficult is it?

  8. Farmer Giles

    February 5, 2014 at 11:46 am

    The Minister has sold farmers and farming down the river.
    Our incomes will be slashed, but we can’t expect him or his department to care, he’s made that perfectly clear now.

  9. farmer

    February 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Wales needs to produce it’s own food and to do that you need farmers and food producers. But we’ve a government who just says they support Welsh food and then do everything they can to make it too difficult for us. They stab us in the back at every opportunity despite the Labour spin
    What a sad state of affairs we are now in with this government and the food department.

  10. farmer

    February 10, 2014 at 11:11 am

    The Minister has not got the knowledge or understanding to think his decision through, it doesn’t make sense.
    He has sold us down the river and our two unions have had little impact.
    Many farmers, like me, will be much worse off and no way can the minister man say he’s behind Welsh food. You can’t crucify our industry and then spout and spin that food is important to Wales.
    Without farmers, Wales can’t even partially feed itself. We important too much food already and thanks to the minister man this will get worse, that’s the only option.
    So watch out Wales we are going to be the import company