Welsh dairy farmers hardest hit by the exceptional market conditions as a result of Covid-19 will now receive financial help, it has been announced.
Producers in Wales challenged their devolved government to match Defra's hardship funding for England, which was announced on Thursday 7 May.
Welsh government has now followed suit, confirming that farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income in April and May would be entitled to up to £10,000 to cover 70% of their lost income.
The hardship fund would help ensure they can continue to operate without impacting animal welfare and the environment, Welsh government explained.
The dairy sector has felt the immediate impact of the global pandemic with the closure of the food service and hospitality sectors.
It is causing financial hardship to producers supplying processors who have been most impacted by the closure of cafes, restaurants, pubs and hospitality venues.
The government has announced a series of announcements to help ease the impact, including a new consumer campaign to increase consumer demand for milk by 3% and the temporary relaxation of competition laws.
Wales's rural affairs minister, Lesley Griffiths said the new measures for Welsh farmers would help provide some stability for the dairy sector.
“I am pleased to confirm dairy farmers in Wales will be eligible for support helping them adapt to the exceptional market conditions and ensuring they can continue to operate without impacting animal welfare and the environment.
"Further details of the scheme will be announced shortly but I wanted to commit today to support this core group of dairy farmers with a payment to offset some of the financial impacts they have experienced," she said.
“We will continue to work closely with the sector to help them address the issues they face at this difficult time."
NFU Cymru applauded the Welsh government's move for recognising the financial impact Covid-19 is having on dairy farming businesses.
“We thank the minister for her efforts in securing this funding at a time when we recognise the public purse is under significant pressure in dealing with the impacts,” union's deputy president, Aled Jones said.