We can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone to directly voice their concerns with their local elected representatives on the Australia trade deal, writes Bryn Francis of the FUW.

There is no shortage of examples of significant differences between Welsh and Australian standards, including lower Australian animal welfare standards in terms of transporting and rearing animals, lower Australian animal traceability standards and lower Australian environmental standards, many of which have been cited by environmental and animal welfare charities and groups who oppose the trade deal.

Such differences in standards mean that Australian farms have significantly lower production costs at a time when the Welsh and UK Governments are placing or planning to place additional costly restrictions on our own farmers.

Let’s also bear in mind that the UK Government’s own figures estimate the economic benefits to the UK of such a deal to be between 0.01 per cent and 0.02 per cent of GDP over 15 years - an average of just 0.001 per cen of UK GDP a year - and that UK exports to Australia will increase by just 7.3 per cent compared with increases of imports from Australia of 83.2 per cent.

It is clear that while the economic benefits of the proposed deal are close to zero for the UK as a whole, they are likely to be severe for Wales’ farming communities and the industries that rely on them, while also undermining our food security, and global animal health and welfare and environmental standards.

Such adverse impacts would of course be exacerbated by further trade deals with other major agricultural producing nations - deals for which the Australia deal will set a precedent.

So on a final note this week, I urge you to use the lobbying tool on our website to highlight this to your local elected representatives. Our family farms depend on your support.