Anglesey FUW discuss dairy crisis with AM

DAIRY PROBLEMS: From left, FUW vice president Eifion Huws, president Glyn Roberts, Glyn Owen, FUW Anglesey deputy milk committee delegate Robert Pritchard, Mel Jones of RABI, FUW Anglesey president Tom Jones, FUW Anglesey vice chairman Peter Williams and Rhun ap Iorwerth

DAIRY PROBLEMS: From left, FUW vice president Eifion Huws, president Glyn Roberts, Glyn Owen, FUW Anglesey deputy milk committee delegate Robert Pritchard, Mel Jones of RABI, FUW Anglesey president Tom Jones, FUW Anglesey vice chairman Peter Williams and Rhun ap Iorwerth

MEMBERS of FUW’s Anglesey branch recently met local AM Rhun ap Iorwerth to discuss a variety of matters such as dropping milk prices, the current state of the agricultural industry and the impact of the new Basic Payment System. The meeting took place at Graiglwyd Ganol, a 200-acre thirdgeneration family owned dairy farm run by Glyn Owen, his wife Vanessa and their three children who have invested heavily in a new milking parlour and cubicles for their 120-strong dairy herd. Their biggest worry, like that of so many others in the industry, is the constant uncertainty about farmgate prices, market volatility and how they can survive in the coming years in an industry that is looking far from prosperous. “We are of course concerned how we will keep the farm running and provide a future for our children,” said Mr Owen. “Our eldest son Gwion has come home to farm after spending time in Glynllifon College studying agriculture and all this upheaval after we have heavily invested in the farm brings us plenty of sleepless nights. “It is, however, not just our bank accounts that we are worried about – what we get paid or not has an immediate knock-on effect on so many other rural businesses and it is about time that those higher up recognise this.” After the visit Mr ap Iorwerth said: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for our farmers to make a living from putting food on our table. “Despite having recently invested in a new milking parlour, this family farm is under an enormous strain. “They will survive due to sheer hard work and determination and will hopefully reap the benefits when the industry starts to pick up, but it’s vital for our farmers to have continued support of their unions and charities such as RABI as we try to work towards improving the situation.” FUW Anglesey county executive officer Heidi Williams said: “It was good to meet on site with Rhun ap Iorwerth to highlight the problems faced by dairy farmers such as Glyn. “We also had the opportunity to highlight how low farmgate prices affected the wider rural community and explain the wider importance of agriculture to Wales’ economy as a whole. “There is a great deal more than just farm incomes riding on the release of, for example, the single farm payment and the long-term prosperity of our industry, and there is a great need for political recognition across the board.”

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