Tuesday, 12 May 2020
Hardship Fund for Dairy Farmers
A new fund available from the government will enable
eligible dairy farmers in England up to £10,000 each to help them to overcome
the impact on their business of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Over 40 million litres of milk is produced by England’s
dairy farmers every day, despite demand dropping due to the enforced closure of
bars, restaurants and cafes.
The announcement on the 6th May is one of the
recent actions by Government to support dairy farmers, in addition to the Chancellor
Rishi Sunak’s action to temporarily relax some elements of the UK’s competition
law, which has allowed suppliers, retailer and logistics providers in the dairy
industry to work more closely together on some of the challenges that they are
70% of Dairy Farmers’ Lost Income Covered
Financial difficulties and excess milk are immediate threats to England’s dairy industry which has led Government to provide a fund for eligible farmers to claim £10,000 each to cover 70% of their lost income during April & May. It is expected that this funding should enable farmers to continue to operate a sustained level of production and thus remove any negative impact on the welfare of the affected cattle.
In addition, the government have also backed a £1million campaign
to boost milk consumption and help farmers with their surplus stock.
George Eustice, Environment Secretary, said in a recent
statement: ‘Our dairy industry plays a crucial role in feeding our nation and
we are doing all we can to ensure they are properly supported during this time.
We’ve already relaxed competition laws so dairy farmers can work together
through the toughest months but recognise there is much more to be done. That
is why today we have kick started a new campaign to boost milk consumption and
have announced a further package of funding. We will continue to stand
alongside our dairy farmers through this difficult period.”
Accounting for the largest segment of British farming, the
dairy sector produces 16.85% of total UK agricultural output in its production
of milk. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, excess supply and reduced demand
has seen prices fall. Via a re-routing of supply to retailers and supermarkets,
to support their increased demand, in addition to the grant scheme offered by
government, it is hoped that dairy farmers will be able to remain operational,
sustain production and support animal welfare.
Dairy Farmers’ Eligibility
Any dairy farmers who have seen a reduction in their income of more than 25% of their income over April & May due to the Coronavirus outbreak, will be eligible for funding over the qualifying months.
Campaign to Boost UK Milk Consumption
The campaign to increase consumption of milk throughout UK households is a jointly funded marketing strategy in partnership between the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), DEFRA, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government, Norther Ireland Executive and Dairy UK.
AHDB’s Chief Marketing Officer commented that; “This new innovative
campaign is a fantastic demonstration of what can be achieved when industry and
Government join together to meet a common supply chain challenge. It will
support dairy farmers and processors in driving demand for milk within
households across the UK. It will link consumers’ love of the great taste of
milk and dairy with how we are all having to manage these challenging times at home
We expect new details around the hardship fund to be announced in due course.
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