The FUW has welcomed the announcement by Cabinet Secretary for energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths that over 85 per cent of farmers’ BPS 2018 claims will be made on the first day of the payment window (Monday, December 3), meaning that over £181m will be paid into the bank accounts of over 13,200 Welsh farm businesses. This includes nearly 1,000 farmers who applied for the BPS loan scheme but will now get their BPS on day one.
Speaking at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, FUW president Glyn Roberts said: “The Welsh Government has hit a high payment target and we are grateful to all the staff who have worked hard to ensure money can be released on the first day of the payment window. however, there are still 15 per cent of
farms who will not receive their payment and we hope that rapid progress can be made in processing these.
“We of course understand that those who have applied for the BPS loan, worth around 70 per cent of their estimated 2018 BPS payment, can expect their money to be with them during the week starting December 10 2018. I have no doubt that this will provide some much needed help to them and the the businesses that support them.
“Most of the money arriving in the farm account through the BPS will be going straight out to secondary and tertiary businesses. hundreds of businesses are solely reliant on Welsh agriculture. Look at all the traders and businesses exhibiting at the Winter Fair. Any delay in the payment of the Basic Payment would have a direct impact on these businesses and their employees.
“We have been working closely with Welsh Government to achieve this result for our farmers here in Wales and are looking forward to continue our close working relationship in the future. The co-operation between all industry stakeholders and Welsh Government illustrates that we can achieve great things for Welsh farming if we work collaboratively.
“With this in mind I would like to also remind the Welsh Government that Direct Support which underpins safe top quality food production must be maintained as a form of public support correcting market failures.
“Abandoning direct support that underpins safe, high-quality food production when our key competitors have no intention of doing the same would damage our economy, environment, landscape, language and culture.”