With concerns over the future of farming in Wales rising to the top of the political agenda, Stephen Crabb MP visited a dairy farm near Cosheston to meet with a group of Pembrokeshire farmers to hear exactly why the new Welsh Government farming policies have caused so much concern to the industry. 

Held at Poyerston Farm, Stephen talked to the owner, NFU Cymru member, Roger Lewis, and a variety of NFU Cymru farmers and representatives as well as local MS and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Samuel Kurtz, to hear their first-hand accounts of being part of one of the biggest farming demonstrations ever seen in Britain, which saw more than 3,000 farmers journeying to the Senedd. 

During the farm visit Stephen was provided with a tour of the rotary milking parlour and was able to find out more about the Welsh Government NVZ rules, the Sustainable Farming Scheme and the ongoing struggles with Bovine TB which are colliding to threaten the future of farming in Wales. 

Stephen said:

“It is clear from speaking to farmers today that a major overhaul is needed to the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme. The levels of stress and anxiety over all the new policies are justified and a lot of work needs to be done to restore the relationship of trust between Welsh Government and farmers.

“Farmers need an agricultural policy that underpins local food production and support for securing resilient agricultural businesses and rural communities which is vitally important to Pembrokeshire. As the current policy stands, we are anticipating 5,500 jobs lost, a £200m hit to farm business incomes and 11% less livestock in Wales.” 

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MS, Samuel Kurtz added:

"Agriculture is the backbone of our local economy, yet the fear in the sector at the Welsh Labour Government's plans are real. From TB and NVZs to the Sustainable Farming Scheme, Welsh agriculture has been under sustained attack by the Labour Government.”

"Working closely with Stephen, we've helped give a voice to our farmers either at the Senedd or in Westminster, to ensure that those fears are heard by the Labour Government in Cardiff.”  

"A prosperous farming sector is good for our local economy and good for our environment. Huge thanks to the local NFU Cymru team for the visit and the honesty in which they outlined the impact of the Welsh Labour Government's policies on farmers."

Roger Lewis commented:

“It’s been good to welcome both Samuel  and Stephen out to farm today, there are a number of factors which are really adding to the pressure on farming businesses at the moment, including of course Welsh Government NVZ regulations, the TB situation in Wales and changes to support arrangements for farmers under the Sustainable Farming Scheme and we are grateful to Samuel for keeping up the pressure in Cardiff on all of these issues which are in the control of Welsh Government. 

“When it comes to Westminster, NFU Cymru is keen to emphasise the importance of UK Governments making the right funding available via UK Treasury to support farmers in Wales, and we look to Stephen to help argue the case there.”