DFoB producers offered help from farming charities

Producers affected by the collapse of Dairy Farmers of Britain are being offered help by agricultural charities.

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) said it had put emergency procedures in place to ensure requests for help were processed quickly.

Paul Burrows, RABI chief executive, said the charity had been working with the dairy’s receivers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to ensure farmers with financial difficulties were being given support.

“We know from bitter experience how devastating the sudden loss of income can be, particularly for family dairy farms for whom cash-flow is critical,” he said.

“Our emergency funding is to cover domestic expenses for farming families facing a financial crisis, and by the end of last week (19 June) we had received initial calls for help from some 50 DfoB farmers.”

Mr Burrows said £12,000 had so far been provided to help six farming families, but with applications for help being made daily, those figures were expected to rise quickly.

Trish Pickford, RABI head of welfare, said in some cases applications for help had been turned around within 24 hours to help struggling producers.

NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has also stepped in to help troubled produers, donating £50,000 to the ARC-Addington Fund to help farmers affected by the collapse of DFoB.

Sir Don Curry, the trust’s chairman, said the donation to the charitable group would provide assistance to families whose livelihood was threatened by the co-op’s demise.

“The problems at Dairy Farmers of Britain have not only left hundreds of farmers in dire financial straits and in need of immediate help but are also having a knock-on effect on the whole livestock industry,” he said.

“We hope this aid will help tide over badly-hit farming families and their employees until they can make alternative arrangements to supply other dairies,” he added.

The RABI emergency helpline number – 01865 727888 – is manned during office hours (with a message facility out of hours). Calls to the RABI helpline are treated with the strictest confidentiality.