Time to properly respect and admire the family farms

by glyn Roberts, FuW president

Last month we enjoyed a very successful Farmhouse Breakfast week, with many kitchens across Wales getting involved in the FUW’s annual campaign. I must thank everyone who helped make it such a roaring success once again.

We also held our Cardiff breakfast at the Pierhead Building again, which is now in its twentieth year. It provided us with a great opportunity to remind assembly Members that it is time to stand up for Welsh agriculture, Welsh jobs and the Welsh economy as the country prepares to exit the European Union.

It really is high time that we, as a nation, start to properly respect, admire and celebrate the family farms which have worked our land for thousands of years, and who are the backbone of our rural economies and culture.

standing up for Welsh agriculture means recognising and taking action regarding the threats the industry faces. at this time there is no greater threat than that of crashing out of the EU in just under nine week’s time.

the Welsh Government has no control over the Brexit process, but we reminded assembly Members that there

are things in their power to mitigate the impacts of what may happen over the coming weeks.

We reiterated our calls for Brexit contingency planning to be stepped up – and called on the Welsh Government to work alongside other UK Governments to ensure action can be taken at short notice to protect our farmers and food producers from the sort of catastrophe we have only previously witnessed during Foot and Mouth disease outbreaks.

and perhaps above all else, as agreed last year by the FUW and NFU Cymru as a number one priority, the Welsh Government must provide stability. stability does not mean increasing burdens and costs for an industry already facing grave threats due to Brexit.

stability also does not mean introducing radical reforms to rural policies and funding without a full understanding of their likely or potential impacts on the hundreds of thousands of Welsh livelihoods that rely on agriculture and our food industries.

For us there is no doubt that changes which force people’s backs to the wall will awaken a sleeping giant in our rural communities which will take action to fight for our future, as we have seen happen in the past – and the FUW will be at helm of that of fight.

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