Milk contract regulation and bovine TB were the hot topics of discussion at a well-attended Pembrokeshire NFU Cymru on-farm meeting held recently at Mount Farm near Solva, by kind permission of the Richards family.
The guest speakers at the meeting were Aled Jones, NFU Cymru Deputy President and James Osman, NFU Chief Dairy Adviser who updated local dairy farmers on the work of the union in the dairy sector. James Osman outlined NFU efforts to secure fairer and more balanced contracts between farmers and milk buyers, and industry efforts to positively promote what hardworking dairy farmers do every day. Aled Jones gave an update on NFU Cymru work in policy areas such as Brexit and post-Brexit agricultural policy in Wales, water quality and bovine TB.
Speaking after the meeting, Pembrokeshire NFU Cymru County Milk Chairman, Matthew Evans, said: “Securing fairer terms and conditions for dairy farmers and ensuring that there is more equitable balance of risk between farmers and buyers in milk supply contracts, is a key priority for us. We are expecting a consultation by Welsh Government and DEFRA on future regulation of dairy contracts to be issued very soon. We are eager to engage our members to get their ideas on how regulated contract terms could work in this area.”
Pembrokeshire NFU Cymru County Chair, Clare Morgan said: “The hugely damaging impacts of bovine TB on farmers and the rural community are keenly felt here in Pembrokeshire; the concerns and frustration felt by local farmers with current Welsh Government policies were very evident at the meeting. In recent times we’ve seen Welsh Government being all too willing to ratchet up the control measures and restrictions on cattle keepers in high incidence disease areas, such as Pembrokeshire, with many farmers in persistent and long-term TB breakdowns being subject to draconian TB Action Plans. However, Welsh Government continues to drag its feet in tackling the disease problem in wildlife which we know exists in this part of the country, to my mind this is unacceptable.”
Mrs Morgan concluded: “We’re very grateful to the Richards family for hosting the meeting and allowing us to see at first hand the excellent facilities that they have developed on their farm. They are a very fine example of the hard working farming families that we have here in the county who are operating at the highest standards of animal health and welfare and with strong environmental credentials who are producing nutritious food for the population and helping to support the local economy at the same time.”