The burden of red tape, the downturn in milk prices and practical implications from the latest round of CAP reform were all issues raised when a delegation of Monmouthshire NFU Cymru members met with local MP David Davies recently on a dairy farm in Llanishen, near Chepstow.
NFU Cymru Monmouthshire County Chairman Nigel Bowyer said the farming industry had enjoyed a decent summer following a bumper harvest but farmers across every sector were facing a series of challenges heading into the winter period.
The Welsh Government has recently issued guidance on how the new regime of CAP reform will be implemented in Wales. Part of the regime includes a greening element which is proving difficult to comply with in practical terms.
“In a county such as Monmouthshire, the greening element is causing significant problems as farmers attempt to meet the two or three crop rulings in addition to providing sufficient ecological focus areas on arable land,” said Mr Bowyer.
“We know that the global population is increasing and our main priority should be to produce food. The bureaucratic and practical nightmares associated with the cropping requirements should be recognised and we hope the EU will have an early review of these extremely restrictive requirements of the CAP.”
Mr Bowyer said many farmers, regardless of the sector they are involved in, would now look to the Rural Development Plan to recover some of the losses when direct payment support starts in December.
“We eagerly await a clear timetable of when we will have the opportunity to recover this support back to our farming businesses,” he said.
David Davies MP added, “Agriculture is a vital part of the economy in Monmouthshire and I believe it is important to have regular meetings with farmers to discuss their concerns.
“It is clear that the CAP rules are going to add a great deal of unnecessary bureaucracy to farming businesses in Wales.
“Furthermore, we have a serious situation in the dairy sector where milk prices have recently fallen quite significantly and there continues to be grave concerns over the way in which some supermarkets use their financial size to dictate unfair terms to farmers.”
Mr Davies also said he would like to see more done in government to promote lamb as a versatile product in the UK and abroad, especially in China.