Applications for the new Welsh dairy support scheme will open on 18 June, supporting farmers hardest hit by the recent exceptional market conditions due to COVID-19, Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, confirmed today.
The sector, which plays an important role in feeding the nation, felt the immediate impact of the pandemic with the closure of the food service and hospitality sectors.
The Welsh dairy support scheme, developed by working with the industry, has been designed to support dairy producers to maintain production capacity during this challenging period.
The scheme application window will be open until 14 August 2020.
Through the fund, eligible dairy farmers will need to demonstrate they have suffered a reduction of 25% or more in the average price paid for their milk in April and subsequently May, when compared to February 2020. Eligible farmers will be entitled to up to £10,000, to cover around 70% of their lost income to help them to continue to meet fixed costs and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare and the environment.
Eligible farmers will need to provide their Milk Statement covering February, April and May 2020 as supporting documentation. The mid-June application opening period will enable eligible farmers to gather all their statements ready to support their application. Online guidance will be available to support this process.
Provided all of the necessary documentation has been submitted and validated, successful applications can expect payment within 10 days.
The Minister said:
Our Welsh dairy support scheme is there to support the hardest hit by market conditions resulting from this pandemic and ensure they can continue to operate without impacting on their high standards of animal welfare and environmental protection.
I would encourage this core group of dairy farmers to apply for this one off payment through RPW Online to help offset some of financial impacts they have experienced.
I would also like to thank industry representatives on the Dairy Focus Group for their contributions in helping us develop the scheme. We will continue to work with the sector during these challenging times, so together we can ensure a resilient future for our Welsh dairy industry.
The opening of the scheme 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
- Opening of the EU Public intervention and private storage aid for skimmed milk, butter and cheese.