New funding to support dairy farmers through COVID-19

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that a new fund will enable eligible dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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 bars, restaurants and cafes have had to close.

The announcement is the latest action from the government to support dairy farmers, building on the support already announced by the Chancellor and Defra’s recent action to temporarily relax some elements of UK competition law to allow suppliers, retailers and logistics providers in the dairy industry to work more closely together on some of the challenges they are facing.

Eligible dairy farmers will be entitled to up to £10,000 each, to cover 70% of their lost income during April and May to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare.

The government has also backed a £1 million campaign to boost milk consumption and help producers use their surplus stock.

Environment 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’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. We will continue to stand alongside our dairy farmers through this difficult period.”

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