DRAX DELIGHTED AT DEFRA FUND TO SUPPORT HARD PRESSED DAIRY FARMERS
Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, has said how delighted he is that South Dorset’s dairy farmers are to receive financial support to cover income lost during April and May as a result of Covid-19.
Last night’s announcement, from the Department for Environment, Food and Environmental Affairs, entitles eligible farmers to claim up to £10,000 to cover income lost during April and May as a result of lockdown measures.
“This is of vital importance to our dairy farmers,” says Drax. “Milk producers have been hit particularly hard by the outbreak, with demand falling off a cliff since cafes and restaurants were shut. At the last count by the NFU, 245 million litres of milk per week were being poured away, and the lives of 80,000 cows were hanging in the balance.”
“We have been emphasising to DEFRA on a daily basis that we need our dairy industry to survive this pandemic. You can’t simply invent a milk cow from scratch; it needs years to mature. If we pour away our milk and import it from the continent instead, there will be no industry for us to return to in the future.”
“I am absolutely delighted that DEFRA has responded urgently and hope that this will help our dairy farmers to continue to operate without impacting their livelihoods or their animals’ welfare.”
The DEFRA announcement confirms that the new funding will help those who have lost more than 25% of their income over the qualifying months of April and May. They are entitled to up to £10,000 each to cover 70% of their lost income. There is no cap on the total funding available and no limit to the number of farmers who can apply.