A new fund has been unveiled to enable dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
With some dairy farmers facing financial difficulties and excess milk, the new fund aims to provide support for those producers most in need.
Eligible farmers will be entitled to up to £10,000 each, to cover 70 percent of their lost income during April and May.
Dairy farmers – who produce over 40m litres of milk every day – have seen decreased demand for their products as bars, restaurants and cafes have had to close.
Announcing the hardship fund, Defra Secretary George Eustice said the UK dairy industry plays a 'crucial role' in feeding the nation.
"We’ve already relaxed competition laws so dairy farmers can work together through the toughest months, but recognise there is more to be done.
"That is why today we have kick started a new campaign to boost milk consumption and have announced a further package of funding.
"We will continue to stand alongside our dairy farmers through this difficult period."
The dairy sector is the UK’s largest farming sector, with milk accounting for 16.85% of total agricultural output in the UK in 2018.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the industry has faced challenges of excess milk, falling prices, and reduced demand from the hospitality sector.
Eligible farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income over April and May due to coronavirus disruptions will be eligible to access this funding for those qualifying months.
No cap is set on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available.
It comes as the AHDB launched a new marketing campaign to increase consumption of milk in British households.
The £1 million promotional campaign aims to help increase sales of dairy products by encouraging the public to drink more milk.