Dairy farmers are being asked for their views on how best to distribute England’s £16m (€18m) share of the EU Dairy Fund in a consultation launched by Defra today.
The fund is intended to help farmers who have been most affected by changes in demand and prices over the last year.
Following discussions with the farming industry, the consultation presents two options for providing help to farmers, keeping administrative costs to a minimum, and supporting a competitive dairy sector.
Farming Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:
“Dairy farmers have faced a challenging year, dealing with the economic climate which led to a drop in global demand and dairy prices.
“The UK has one of the most modernised and efficient dairy sectors in the world, but this funding will provide some additional stability for them. This is why we are seeking the farming community’s views on the fairest way to distribute the EU Dairy Fund.”
The suggested options for distributing the fund are:
- a direct payment per litre of production from October 2008 to September 2009; or
- a payment per litre for the first 100,000 litres of production, with an additional payment per litre over 100,000 litres from October 2008 to September 2009.
The farming industry is being asked for their views by 17 February on which suggested option, or alternative suggestion which has widespread industry support, will be most beneficial to those farmers most affected by the changes in demand and prices.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will also consult on the same options for distributing the EU Dairy Fund, and an agreed approach will apply across the UK.
Notes to editors
1. Further details on both options, as well as the EU Dairy Fund can be found at:
2. To ensure farmers receive the financial help as soon as possible, the UK must report to the Commission by 31 March 2010 on how the money will be spent. This means a four week consultation is necessary.
3. The consultation will be open until 17 February 2010, and all comments should be sent to email@example.com or by contacting 020 7238 3096 to arrange a submission by post.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department