Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, has today announced funding for Welsh dairy farmers hardest hit by the recent exceptional market conditions as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The dairy sector has felt the immediate impact of the global pandemic with the closure of the food service and hospitality sectors.
To support the sector during these challenging times, the minister has confirmed eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income in April and subsequently May will be entitled to up to £10,000, to cover 70% of their lost income. This will help ensure they can continue to operate without impacting animal welfare and the environment.
Further details on the scheme will be announced shortly.
It follows a series of announcements aimed at supporting the sector during these challenging times, including:
- a new consumer campaign, led by AHDB, to increase consumer demand for milk by 3%
- the temporary relaxation of competition laws to enable greater collaboration so the sector, including dairy farmers and processors, can work closer to solve the differences between supply and demand, and
- opening of the EU Public intervention and private storage aid for skimmed milk, butter and cheese.
Announcing the funding, the minister said:
“The closure of the foodservice sector has had an immediate and significant impact on our dairy sector and market prices.
“The measures introduced so far will help provide some stability for the dairy sector, but I recognise there is a need to support those farms hardest hit by a situation which is primarily outside of their control.
“I am therefore pleased to confirm dairy farmers in Wales will be eligible for support helping them adapt to the exceptional market conditions and ensuring they can continue to operate without impacting animal welfare and the environment. Further details of the scheme will be announced shortly but I wanted to commit today to support this core group of dairy farmers with a payment to offset some of financial impacts they have experienced.
“We will continue to work closely with the sector to help them address the issues they face at this difficult time. By working together we can ensure an optimistic future for the dairy sector and its supply chain in Wales.”