Emergency support will be provided to Guernsey's dairy farming industry, it has been announced.
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The States said the dairy farming industry was facing a crisis which could see some remaining farms forced to close

The States said the industry was facing a crisis which could see some of the remaining farms forced to close.

The Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure and the Policy and Resources Committee have agreed emergency funding of £486,000.

They said the funding was intended to help with current high costs of feed and fertiliser.

‘On the brink’

Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, president of the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure, said: “We’re at a critical point for dairy farmers and we face a real risk of losing more farms, to the point that the sector as a whole may never recover.

“If we don’t act, we could very quickly see the end of dairy farming in Guernsey. That is no exaggeration.

“Dairy farming has a unique place in Guernsey’s identity and culture. Our famous Guernsey breed is iconic, and our beautiful countryside is what it is because of this industry. Losing it would have very far-reaching consequences.”

The committees have also agreed to carry out a review to look at what can be done to secure the sector’s long-term sustainability.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache, president of the Policy and Resources Committee, said: “We must look at how we make the dairy farming sector as sustainable as possible, balancing farmers’ costs with keeping the price of our milk – which is a much-loved high-quality product as well as a household staple – at least reasonably affordable for islanders.

“But the situation right now has quickly become very urgent as international developments have sent farmers’ costs soaring, which means the industry cannot afford to wait for that kind of review to be completed; they’re on the brink right now.”

With calving underway, dairy farmers are being urged to plan ahead to combat feed shortages.

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