Milk producers to receive £100 cheque from Europe

Dairy farmers who produce more than 50,000 litres of milk a year are to receive an additional 0.2p for every litre produced in 12 months to September 2009.

The money – from the EU Dairy Fund – is intended to help farmers hit by lower demand and falling prices, while supporting a competitive dairy sector. The UK share of the fund amounts to £26m for October 2008 to September 2009.

Junior DEFRA minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: “We’ve agreed with the industry that a flat-rate payment is the fairest way to help dairy farmers most affected by the drop in global dairy prices.

“The UK has one of the most modern and efficient dairy sectors, and distributing the funding in this way will give some additional security to farmers following a particularly challenging year.”

The qualifying threshold for payments was set at 50,000 litres to keep administrative costs as low as possible. This means the minimum payment will be roughly £100. The Rural Payments Agency aims to begin making payments in mid-April.