Welsh Government dairy farming support package 'welcomed'

Welsh dairy farmers have welcomed the announcement of a funding package for those hardest hit by the closure of cafes and coffee shops.

Many saw a 70% drop in demand for milk and dairy products when hospitality businesses were forced to shut in the coronavirus lockdown.

Some farmers have been pouring their milk away since the restrictions were imposed.

But now the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths MS, has confirmed that 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.

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"The overnight loss of the food service market as a result of Covid-19 has affected many Welsh dairy farmers", said Aled Jones, NFU Cymru Deputy President.

"It is causing severe financial hardship to producers supplying processors who have been most impacted by the closure of cafes, restaurants, pubs and hospitality venues.

"We are pleased that Welsh Government has recognised the impact this is having on many dairy farming businesses and has now come forward with a hardship package for those impacted most by the current market conditions.

"We thank the Minister for her efforts in securing this funding at a time when we recognise the public purse is under significant pressure in dealing with the impacts of Coronavirus across the whole economy and society in general", Aled Jones added.

Credit: PA Images

Commenting on the announcement, the Welsh Conservatives' Andrew RT Davies MS – the Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs – said: “It’s better late than never.”

The Welsh Government said that further details of the scheme would be announced in the coming days. It follows a similar support scheme announced in England earlier this week.