Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, continues to do all he can for local farmers and calls on the UK Government to do far more whilst visiting an Ogmore farm.
Chris Elmore met with the Anthony Family at their farm near Tondu with officials from the National Farmers Union Cymru (NFU Cymru) to talk about a range of issues facing the sector, from rural crime to rising business costs.
As inflation soars, costs facing farmers are skyrocketing. The price of red diesel needed to run farm equipment alone has risen from 54p a litre to 80p a litre, with the costs of livestock and fertiliser also rising. All of these rising costs are cutting into already strained resources, with the UK Government offering inadequate support to counter the cost of the living crisis. This will drive family farms out of business and undermine Ogmore’s food security.
Concerns were also raised around the growing issues with farmer’s mental health, with rates of those taking their own lives amongst farmers worryingly high as hardships grow. Rural isolation and long working days can contribute to poor mental health, with a study by the Farm Safety Foundation finding that 88% of farmers under the age of 40 ranked poor mental health as the biggest problem they face today. The Mind Your Head campaign, started by the Farm Safety Foundation, is aiming to break down mental health barriers in farming.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“Farmers make such important contributions to the local economy in Ogmore, it’s really important that we value our farmers and ensure they are getting the support they need during this difficult period. I have always sung the praises of our agricultural sector not only because they provide vital economic value, but because farmers are on the frontline of protecting our natural environment.
It was really valuable meeting with the Anthony Family and officials from NFU Cymru to discuss the issues facing the sector. I want to ensure I’m doing all I can to support local farmers in Ogmore, so I’ll be pushing the UK Government to do more to address the rising energy and fuel bills and the supply chain issues affecting farmers profits.
I was also very concerned to hear from NFU Cymru about the growing mental health issues amongst farmers. Times are tough, so it’s essential that people know where to go if they need mental health support. The local health boards have mental health services, and charities such as Samaritans are always on hand to listen and offer support.”