The Dairy Fund is now open for applications from eligible projects that will deliver transformational change to multiple English dairy farm businesses.

Under the grant scheme, groups of dairy farmers can apply for grants of between £25,000 and £1m to establish new cooperation structures, such as producer groups and cooperatives. A total of £5m-worth of funding is available.

The grants, which are being offered by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), can also be used to invest in technology to take advantage of new market opportunities.

A Dairy Fund spokesman said: “Projects will be considered that encourage the establishment, development or expansion of cooperation structures for adding value to projects that improve the profitability of its farmer members.

“The central objectives of the cooperation activity must be to strengthen members’ connection with their market(s), enable dairy farmers to explore and develop new market opportunities and ultimately improve farm profitability and long-term sustainability of the dairy sector.”

Projects offering the greatest return on grant investment will be more likely to be successful, added the spokesman

The closing date for submitting outline applications is 5pm on 28 February, 2013. For information on how to apply for the grants, visit the RDPE website.

More on this topic

Government finally launches dairy consultation

Philip Case on G+