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Local farmers’ confidence “on the up”

Created on 28/11/2011 @ 14:20


Confidence amongst Welsh farmers is on the up, with many positive about the short and long term future and the majority looking to increase production over the next five years, according to a survey.
The NFU Cymru, which carried out the survey during the summer, said the results released today (Monday) showed 60% of farmers were more confident now than they were 12 months ago about the prospects for the short term future of their farming business. The same amount claimed they were more confident when looking five years ahead.
Ed Bailey, NFU Cymru President said, “Prices obviously have a strong influence on farmer confidence. In a sector where profitability has been historically low, such as across the beef and sheep sectors, the survey points to improved confidence. This is undoubtedly linked to headline prices and profitability expectations.”
Over 50% of those surveyed were also looking to increase production in the next five years with only 14% considering cutting back on production.
Mr Bailey added: “This is a clear signal that farmers are looking to invest in their businesses for the long term. Key factors on the horizon keep me optimistic about the future. We see a growing awareness from the consumer over the provenance of their food and a need to produce more food while safeguarding the environment, and for that Welsh farmers are well-placed to deliver.”
The main negative impacts on farming businesses were predicted as high input prices and regulation.
Mr Bailey said: “Increased prices have no doubt brought a buzz back to the marketplace but Hybu Cig Cymru figures highlight that increased input costs continue to outstrip improved market returns.
“With regards to regulation, we very much hope that the working smarter programme, announced by the Deputy Minister at the Royal Welsh Show and due to report back in the next few weeks, will deliver some meaningful reduction in the red tape burden that continues to stifle the farming industry in Wales.”
Mr Bailey concluded: “I share the optimism that has come through in this survey and I am particularly heartened by the fact that over a third of respondents cited ‘succession of the farm’ as one of the most positive impacts affecting their farming business. It is good news that the current generation of farmers is once again enthused and excited about their sons and daughters becoming involved in agriculture and likewise that the next generation can see a positive future in farming and want to play their part in ensuring we can meet the growing demand from the consumer for our first class produce here in Wales.”
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