TIMELY BOOST FOR SCOTLAND’S DAIRY SECTOR

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dairy industryMarch 4, 2010

#2.5 million share of #273 million pot for Scots dairy farmers

Details of how Scotland’s share of the EU Dairy Fund will be allocatedΒ  have been announced.

The Fund was agreed in November last year by EU Finance Ministers to support dairy farmers severely affected by the fall in milk prices based on 2008/2009 milk production. It comes in the form of a national envelope allocated to each Member State. Scotland will receive #2.548 million.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said that after consulting the industry, who overwhelmingly favoured simplification, he has decided to allocate the money on a flat term basis of 0.2 pence per litre. This is to be based on production during the specified reference period of 1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009 and is the same formula which will be used in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr Lochhead said:

“This approach should help ensure that all of Scotland’s dairy farmers receive a fair share of the fund. It will also enable payments to reach those severely affected as soon as possible, which I’m sure our farmers will welcome.

“The Rural Payments Agency, who will administer the scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government, are aiming to begin issuing payments from mid April onwards, two months in advance of the EU deadline.

“Many of Scotland’s dairy farmers have suffered significantly over the past year and this payment will be a small but nonetheless welcome boost to those who have experienced difficulties. We will continue to do everything possible to ensure a sustainable future for the industry during a challenging economic climate.”

Background

The following table provides indicative figures of production and payments.

Amount Delivered(litres)/Flat Rate at 0.2ppl

200,000/#400
500,000/#1,000
1,000,000/#2,000

The exact amount payable to each farmer will not be known until the production data during the specified period has been processed to identify eligible cases. Member States must make the payments by the end of June 2010 and are required to notify the Commission on the method of allocation by the end of March.