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Farmers set to lose out as dairy response funds open

19 June 2020

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has welcomed the dairy response fund for farmers in England and Wales, but says it is disappointed some farmers severely affected will not be eligible.

The dairy response fund has been set-up in England and Wales to help those farmers in need of support following the coronavirus outbreak.

To be eligible for support from the fund, farmers need to demonstrate they have suffered a reduction in the average price paid for their milk of 25% or more in April 2020 when compared with February 2020.

Qualifying farmers are entitled to up to £10,000 each to cover 70 percent of their losses across April and May incurred as a result of a drop in price.

However, RABDF Chairman Peter Alvis said the fund did not go far enough to support all those in need.

He said: "We welcome the news of the dairy response funds in England and Wales. However, the concerns that we have raised before remain that for those farmers who had to dump milk still don't appear to be covered by the funds, neither do farmers who process their own milk or those in the non-bovine sector.

“We do not understand how farmers will demonstrate milk volumes dumped as this will not appear on milk statements and therefore, the volume loss can’t be evidenced in this way.”

He added: “It is disappointing the non-bovine sector has been excluded despite both Governments being made aware of the fragility of the sector. Due to the small size of the sector we hope the government can find a small sum of money to support them as without it, these farms will struggle to survive.”

The deadline for applications will be 14 August. Farmers will be able to apply for a single payment from the fund, which will be paid out from 6 July. Applications can be submitted directly to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).


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