Following mounting industry pressure for Government intervention, a new fund has been announced to support English dairy farmers through the market turmoil caused by Covid-19.
Eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25 per cent of their income during April and May will be able to access up to £10,000 each, covering approximately 70 per cent of lost income.
There is no cap on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available.
Defra Secretary, George Eustice, said: “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 have 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.
“We will continue to stand alongside our dairy farmers through this difficult period”.
The dairy hardship fund is the latest action from Government to support producers and processors caught up in the severe market disruption, which has seen an estimated 5,200 dairy farmers impacted, with the bill for price cuts calculated at £20m for April and May.
But its roll out was branded ‘tortuously slow’ by industry leader NFU president Minette Batters last week who said it had not come quick enough for those battling market collapse.
The fund also supplements a £1million joint funded campaign launched today (May 6) from the devolved governments, AHDB and Dairy UK to boost milk consumption and help producers use their surplus stock.