The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has welcomed new funding measures to support Welsh dairy farmers through COVID-19, following an announcement by Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths.
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, to cover 70% of their lost income.
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, 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.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales says MPs and Lords must continue to work to introduce changes to the UK Agriculture Bill which protect the UK’s food security and maintain standards for consumers, after a critical amendment was blocked by the UK Government.
During the third reading of the Agriculture Bill, a clause which would prevent future trade deals from allowing food into the UK not produced to the standards required of farmers and processors in the UK was defeated by 328 to 277 votes, having failed to receive the support of the UK Government.