'Make your feelings known' on CAP reform


Shane Brennan

A PACKED meeting at Ruthin Farmers Market heard of the unease that farmers felt about the recently announced CAP reforms.

As reported last week, Welsh agriculture minister Alun Davies announced new rules on how farmers would receive European payments.

The meeting was organised by Gwyn Edwards with around 200 farmers in attendance at the Friday night event.

Radio Cymru’s farming correspondent Dei Tomos chaired the meeting.
Speakers included Farmers’ Union of Wales president Emyr Jones, Ed Bailey, the president of NFU Cymru, Gareth Wyn Jones and young farmers Hefin Jones and Sion Eilir.

The reforms will mean that there will be a huge reduction in the pot of money to go to farming in direct payments.

Money will also be taken from the pot for Government use in rural schemes.
The amount taken will amount to 15 per cent of the pot for single farm payments and is known as modulation.

Concerns were expressed at the meeting that not all of the money would be spent on rural communities.

There was further concern that there is still no definition of who is eligible for CAP.

This has led to people and companies who are not farming to receive CAP payments.

One speaker said from the floor: “It is vital that the people who farm the land get the money, but the idea that the people who don't farm could get the money is ridiculous.”

Mr Bailey called on the farmers to write to their elected representatives to put pressure on the minister to change course.

He said: “Why don't you all go home tonight and write the minister a letter letting him know your feelings?

“Make the feeling known by the weight of the postbag.”
Mr Bailey also criticised the opposition parties for not doing enough to oppose the

He added: “Don't forget that there is a very finely weighted government. It is 30 votes to 30.

“The oppostion is not working together - they are weak and easily bought off, just look at the budget deal.

“Write to them and tell them not to be bought off so cheaply.”

NFU Cymru Clwyd branch chairman Ivor Beech proposed that a joint letter be sent on behalf of the meeting to the minister setting out the views of the farmers present.

This letter idea was agreed.

See full story in the Free Press

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