Welcome news for England’s dairy farmers07/05/20
Coronavirus hardship fund for dairy farms
The Government has announced a new fund that will enable eligible dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 to support them following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dairy farmers have been hard hit over the last few weeks as demand for dairy products has plummeted with the closure of bars, hotels, restaurants and cafes across the country. Eligible dairy farmers will be entitled up to £10,000 each to cover 70% of lost income during April and May. The Government states this measure has been taken to ensure dairy farmers can continue ‘to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare.’
The new funding will help support dairy farmers – who together continue to produce over 40 million litres of milk every day – who have seen decreased demand for their products as hospitality and leisure venues have been forced to close owing to requirements for social distancing.
Dairy farming is the UK’s largest agricultural sector
Milk accounts for almost 17% of total agricultural output in 2018. Eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than a quarter of their income over April and May due to COVID-19 will be eligible to access this funding for those qualifying months. No cap has been set on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available.
More details about the scheme are set to be announced.
The Government has also announced a temporary relaxation of competition laws for dairy farmers across the whole of the UK to enable suppliers, retailers and logistics providers in the dairy industry to rise to the challenges presented by the pandemic together.