Business ‘ever closer to break even’

Falling commodity prices and reform of the CAP means farmers like Richard Tomlinson, vice-chairman of NFU Cymru’s Clwyd branch, is having to reconsider the future of his farm business.

“With prices edging ever downwards the business is getting ever closer to break even, and we are wondering what the next step is,” says Mr Tomlinson, who runs 230 Holstein milkers at Ael y Bryn, Coedpoeth.

“We need to cut costs, but where?” he says.

For the first time since the family set up farming at Coedpoeth 30 years ago, Mr Tomlinson says he is seriously contemplating downsizing.

“Getting bigger is no longer an option.

With milk prices as they are, the dairies want our SFPs, but they are not going to get mine.”

He is no longer a partner in the nearby milk processing company run by his brothers, but his milk is piped underground to their plant.

However, Mr Tomlinson and his wife Carole are relieved that as they make decisions about the future of the farm they can do so without having to consider their impact on their two sons’ future, as neither wants to succeed them.

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