CARMARTHENSHIRE Labour opposition leader, Cllr Rob James has warmly welcomed the recent announcement from the Welsh Government on support for dairy farmers.

The closure of the foodservice sector in response to the ongoing pandemic has had an immediate and significant impact on dairy farmers across Wales.

To support the sector during these challenging times, the Welsh Government has confirmed 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. This will help ensure they can continue to operate without impacting animal welfare and the environment. 
It follows a series of announcements aimed at supporting the sector during these challenging times, including:
– A new consumer campaign, led by AHDB, to increase consumer demand for milk by 3%;

– The temporary relaxation of competition laws to enable greater collaboration so the sector, including dairy farmers and processors, can work closer to solve the differences between supply and demand; and

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– Opening of the EU Public intervention and private storage aid for skimmed milk, butter and cheese.

NFU Cymru estimates that of the 1640 dairy farms in Wales, some 700 have been adversely impacted by Covid-19. As the crisis in the dairy sector continues to intensify, the numbers impacted and severely impacted continue to increase.
Cllr Rob James, said,
“In Carmarthenshire, we have seen the significant impact the ongoing lockdown is having on the farming community with local farmers being forced to tip milk and facing price drops on their product, so it is absolutely right that this support be provided.
“Now it is important that we, as a local authority, build upon this announcement and begin evaluating the possibility of setting up a cooperative processing plant in our county to support our local farmers.
“Carmarthenshire Labour Councillors will continue to work with our farming community, as they continue to provide an essential service during very difficult times.”

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