Welsh dairy farms get average £1.8k crisis aid
DAIRY farmers in Wales are to collect a one-off crisis payment from Brussels averaging £1,800 each.
The cash is from a £26.2m aid package allocated to the UK by the EC earlier this month.
As expected, England will get the lion’s share, at £15.5m, with Northern Ireland receiving £5.1m, Wales £3.2m and Scotland £2.3m.
Deputy farming minister Rebecca Evans said payments in Wales will be based on how much milk farmers produced in 201415.
This will give an average payment of £1,800 per farm.
Mrs Evans said the Welsh Government is aiming to deliver the cash as soon as possible.
“We hope to make this payment quickly and I hope it will offer some help with cash flow,” she said.
According to Scottish rural affairs minister Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Government was not consulted on its allocation, leaving the FUW to wonder if WalesW l had hd sufferedff dh the same fate.
Newly elected FUW milk and dairy produce chairman Rhydian Owen said many Welsh dairy producers felt they had been “ripped off” by Westminister.
“The farm-gate price of milk received by many Welsh dairy producers is far lower than in other regions of the UK mainland,” said Mr Owen.
“A distribution which took account of the disparity in milk price would have seen help going where it is most needed.”
NFU Cymru said the Welsh allocation was a welcome cash boost for the country’s hardpressed dairy sector.
ButB iti saidid more actioni was needed to make a long-term difference.
While AHDB figures showed that average UK milk prices had fallen 25% in the last year, many First Milk suppliers had seen their milk price halve in that time, said NFU Cymru Milk Board chairman Aled Jones
He added: “Given the serious cash flow crisis on Welsh dairy farms it is important now that this EU money is distributed as quickly as possible.
“Whilst this support will provide some short-term relief it does not alter the fact that farmgate milk price remains well below the cost of production, with ih farmersf losingl i significanti ifi money on every litre of milk they produce.”
Rebecca Evans wants to see further action taken at EU level to help open new markets for milk producers.
Other measures being pursued include more consistent labelling of British dairy products, and more space allocated to British dairy products on supermarket shelves.
The deputy minister added: “I also believe we need to kick-start a significant programme of work across the EU to support all of our farmers, including the red meat sector, to help the industry move forward.”