Dairy Hardship Scheme - NFU comment

Michael Oakes, Dairy Chairman_39278

The government has released details of a new fund which will enable eligible dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Gov.UK:

Eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income over April and May due to coronavirus disruptions will be eligible to access the funding for those qualifying months, with no cap set on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available.

NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes said: “We welcomed the original announcement of the package, and since then, the NFU has been talking to Defra about how the scheme could be delivered and the eligibility criteria that should govern it.

“Following today’s announcement we are seeking to understand the apparent switch from the scheme’s eligibility based upon loss of income, now to pence per litre milk price and how that might have a bearing on the number of farmers able to apply. COVID-19 has caused widespread disturbance in the dairy market and there is a danger that the scheme will fall short of what the NFU, and many in the industry, had anticipated when we saw the announcement last month.

“However, many farmers will benefit and we will be helping our members through the application process. As we improve our understanding of how the scheme is landing on farm, we will be seeking further discussions with Ministers and officials.”

NFU members: Read our Q&A on the scheme here

This Q&A is accessible to NFU members only and you will be asked to log in.

How to log in: Use your membership number or the email address associated with your membership to log in. If you've forgotten your password, you can click here to reset it or contact NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458.

Hear more from your dairy board chairman as he asks questions of the government's hardship fund in his latest blog here.

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Recap on your messages from the dairy board chairman:

Article four: Hear from the dairy board chairman on the challenges of COVID-19 and the dairy sector

Article three: How is the NFU working for you on issues affecting the dairy sector?

Article two: Michael Oakes takes a closer look at the impacts on the dairy sector

Article one: A message from the dairy board chairman

  • Posted by: Andy PatonPosted on: 22/06/2020 14:34:07

    Comment: The current way in which this response fund is being calculated is utterly ridiculous. Despite getting less than 16p/l for around 50% of 2 weeks worth of milk in April and 18p/l for 50% of the whole of Mays milk we will not qualify. This is basically down to the price paid in Feb not being sufficiently high enough. Other suppliers to the same dairy on an ingredient contract will be eligible despite the fact that they actually received a higher average price in May and basically the same price in April simply because the price they also got for Feb was around 2p/l higher.
    Whoever dreamt up the administration of this was clueless and if they think milk sales at 22pl average and 21p/litre average is not sufficiently low enough to warrant support or come under the umbrella of being affected by the Covid crisis, I invite them to try it for themselves.