Supporting our Dairy Farmers
Good news for dairy farmers last week! The government announced funding to support eligible dairy farming businesses with access to up to £10,000 each. This is to help them cope with the impact from the coronavirus outbreak.
During April, there were widespread reports of dairy farmers being forced to dump milk due to the closure of bars, restaurants and cafes. This caused despair, surprise and outrage last month, with many consumers struggling to understand how there could be shortages and limits in supermarkets when there was clearly plentiful supply.
In mid-April, the government relaxed competition rules temporarily to allow collaboration between dairy farmers and producers and to allow retailers, suppliers and logistic services to work together to redirect some supplies.
We’ve already relaxed competition laws so dairy farmers can work together through the toughest months, but recognise there is 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.
Environment Secretary, George Eustice
Their latest announcement allows eligible dairy farmers up to £10,000 each to cover 70% of their lost income. There has been no cap set on the number of farmers who can receive the support or the total funding available. Farmers will have to demonstrate that they have lost more than 25% of their income in April and May to access the funding. Estimates suggest that up to 20,000 dairy farms have been affected.
Further detail on the fund will be announced in due course.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), in conjunction with Defra, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and Dairy UK, also launched a new marketing campaign last week to encourage the increase of milk consumption in households. The campaign encourages tea, coffee and milky drink occasions as ways to connect socially, such as a latte virtually with friends. This is something we can all get on-board with!