Local Assembly Member is briefed on farmers concerns

Local Welsh Conservative Assembly Member, Angela Burns met with representatives of NFU Cymru to discuss some of the main issues affecting farmers during the Coronavirus crisis.

The NFU outlined the impact that socially distancing measures have had on the agricultural industry.

The closure of the majority of the service sector has had a major impact on demand for dairy products, especially milk, and has resulted in supply greatly outstripping demand and farmers not being able to send their milk for processing.

The virus has also hit the red meat market and the fall in demand has seen a reduction in the price that farmers are receiving for their meat.

 

Commenting Angela said

“I am grateful to NFU Cymru for sharing their expertise and comments with me today. Their views chime with the many Farmers who have been in touch with me over the past few months.

“It is a very difficult situation and all sectors of our economy are having to adapt to these changing times but I am confident that with the right support the agricultural industry can thrive over the coming months and years as we will be looking to become more self sufficient and source more locally produced produce.

“However there are immediate hurdles that need to be navigated in the short term. I have already written to the Minister in the Welsh Parliament raising my concerns over the plummeting price of milk and the distinct lack of support on offer by the Welsh Government.

“Today’s conversation has highlighted some solutions which could to help mitigate the financial affect of this and I will also be contacting the Secretary of State at Westminster to press for some UK wide interventions in the dairy industry.

“I was also interested to hear the comments about the red meat and poultry sector. One way that we can help our farmers in this sector is by ensuring that we buy Welsh and UK reared meat. I remain frustrated to hear that some of our larger supermarkets are still insisting on importing supplies from abroad and I would urge them to support our British farmers.

“Welsh farmers produce some of the finest products in the world and I am grateful for the dedication that they have shown and continue to demonstrate in feeding Wales. They deserve our support and I call on the Welsh Government to fully recognise their value and offer them the assistance that they need to help them through these challenge times.”

ENDS