Ceredigion farmers facing "perfect storm" without urgent intervention


Ceredigion AM and MP have warned that Welsh farmers face a "perfect storm" without urgent intervention by the Welsh Government.

Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP have written to the rural affairs minister in Cardiff explaining that Welsh farmers will need direct intervention to help them through the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent today to Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, they highlight the sharp fall in milk and meat prices for farmers in recent weeks, combined with a poor winter and rising feed costs. 

The letter calls for a specific package of support for food producers in Wales along the same lines as those already unveiled for small businesses and the self-employed. Many farmers do not meet eligibility criteria for either, despite being key to the food production industry at a time of crisis.

The letter states:

"The economic shock of Covid-19 is compounded further as falling incomes conicide with rising feed costs. These challenges have arisen at what is the most important point of the year for farm businesses. When we also consider that this crisis follows a terrible winter, it is difficult to imagine a more perfect storm for agriculture."

This "unprecedented challenge" caused by the Covid-19 pandemic demands an urgent response to ensure that food production can continue at a crucial time of year for farmers by stabilising markets.

Elin Jones AM said: "This is the time of year when both milk and meat producers look to maximise income and tide them over the rest of the year. 

"The 'spring flush' is vital for milk producers across Wales and farmers are more reliant than ever on their core food production in this lockdown period. Any alternative income from tourism, which many farmers have been encouraged to seek, has vanished overnight."

Ben Lake MP added: "We ask that the Welsh Government considers expanding these measures to offer direct financial support to farming businesses that have also seen their businesses disrupted – and in some cases almost wiped out – by the Covid-19 pandemic with urgency. 

"We would also be grateful to know what discussions the Welsh Government has had with the UK Government with regard to possible market interventions to stabilise prices."

Letter to Lesley Griffiths (Welsh Government):

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Letter to George Eustice (UK Government:

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