News
7th May

2020

TFA Media Release – MR20/23 – Covid-19 Dairy Support – A Late but Important Piece of the Jigsaw

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has welcomed the news that dairy farmers impacted most by the loss of market resulting from the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions are to receive a grant of up to £10,000 each.

TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn, said “Whereas other businesses in the economy have been able to access grant support from the Government relatively easily, the dairy industry has had to battle hard for this payment.  Whilst this support has come late in the day, it is welcome news.  However, it is only part of a jigsaw of wider measures to ensure that the dairy industry is able to get through the current storm”.

The closure of coffee shops, restaurants, catering outlets and food service operations has dealt a heavy blow to dairy farmers in those supply chains, and who produce a perishable product seven days a week.  Many previously profitable businesses have been pushed to the brink.  However, retailers have been granted a monopoly on supplying food, including dairy products to consumers.

“Retailers could and should be doing more to help satisfy the demand that would have previously been fulfilled through out-of-house purchases.  Reducing their product ranges and limiting purchases has not helped.  Alongside the grant to dairy farmers, the TFA has welcomed the £1-million promotional budget that has been pulled together by AHDB, the Government and various processors.  However, for this to be successful, retailers need to play their part to ensure that consumers have ready access to dairy products which are not in short supply,” said Mr Dunn.

Another important piece of the jigsaw is volume reduction, given that not all the out of house market can be shifted to retail.

“We had hoped that the Government would have addressed some of the supply imbalance through assisting with a volume reduction scheme.  This could have bought up a proportion of the milk previously destined for food service outlets and use this for redistribution through food banks, refuges and other charitable outlets.  The announcement of the EU Private Storage Aid scheme will help, although we are concerned about the impact any stored product will have on the market once demand begins to recover,” said Mr Dunn.

-Ends-

 

Ref:  MR 20/23  

Date: 07 May 2020

Notes for Editors:

For media enquiries, contact Julia Meadows, TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator, on 0118 930 6130 or 07887 777157.

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