CAP the biggest issue in 2011 - FUW
BY far the industry’s most important issue in 2011 will be the decisions over the future of the Common Agricultural Policy which will affect farm businesses across the EU, says Farmers Union of Wales president, Gareth Vaughan, in his New Year message.
“When the last major CAP changes took place in 2005, we were told that decoupling should prompt us to respond to markets,” he says.
“Since then the industry has done just that. We have worked out the margins, decided that the market does not reward us fairly for our hard work and consequently production has fallen dramatically.
“This pattern, which is replicated across Europe, sends out a clear message to Brussels. If they value Europe’s food security, they must ensure fair incomes for farmers, either through the CAP, or by ensuring fair returns from markets and tackling the imbalance of power in the supply chain.
“Failure to recognise this will decimate our food security and lead to massive social, economic, and environmental upheaval, all at a time when the concerning issues of peak oil and peak food should be a major concern for every person in the EU.
“In Wales, foremost in many people’s minds is the prickly issue of the Glastir agri-environment scheme and the Minister’s decision to extend the Tir Mynydd scheme by 12 months is a welcome move.
“But the Assembly Government must now start listening to our concerns and make the scheme criteria as accessible and acceptable to farmers as possible.
“Critical, too, is the need for a proportionate approach on tackling bovine TB in both cattle and badgers.
“The Assembly must push on with its plans to tackle the disease in badgers in north Pembrokeshire, with a view to expanding such action to other areas where badgers are known to carry the disease.”