Welsh Government plans to support dairy farmers in Wales with additional funding through the coronavirus crisis have been welcomed by sector representatives.
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A help package for dairy farmers in Wales has been announced PICTURE: Debbie James

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths announced over the weekend that eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25 per cent of their income in April and subsequently in May will be entitled to up to £10,000 to cover 70 per cent of lost income. It is intended to help them continue without impacting animal welfare and the environment.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales was among the groups to welcome the additional funding.

FUW milk and dairy committee chairman Dai Miles said: “We very much welcome this announcement.

“Large numbers of Welsh dairy farmers have been hit hard by the seismic changes to dairy supply chains that have occurred as a result of the current pandemic, with many facing devastating financial losses.”

With farmers unable to access many of the Government’s support schemes due to the eligibility criteria, Mr Miles said that the Welsh Government package is a welcome lifeline, even though losses on many farms would far exceed the support that has been announced – with some suffering losses that amount to many tens of thousands more than what is being offered.

“Even though the available funds don’t fix the whole of the problem, and there will be many who continue to suffer, it is very much a step in the right direction to protect hard hit Welsh farms and the families, businesses and employees who rely on them,” he said.

The FUW previously called on the Welsh Government to introduce support for dairy farmers hit by severe farmgate price drops after Defra announced a fund enabling English dairy farmers to access up to £10,000 to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have had regular meetings with the Welsh and UK Governments as well as with other stakeholders since March, and called for a range of interventions including direct support. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that our industry continues to get the support it needs during these difficult times,” added Mr Miles.

Richard Corbett, partner with Roger Parry & Partners said, “This announcement is good news and much needed for Welsh dairy farmers who have been left to struggle, in an extremely vulnerable position, because of the impact of Covid19 on the marketplace. This news comes just days after the Westminster Government announced a support package for English dairy farmers.”

Further details of the scheme will be announced soon.

Aurora Dairies, one of the largest milk producers in the country, has added Gray Wigg Gault’s Clydebank Aggregation in Victoria’s Gippsland region to its expanding portfolio for around $20 million.

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