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One million litres of milk discarded due to COVID-19, UK survey finds

Posted: 4 May 2020 | | No comments yet

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) is still receiving data from farmers, and the first lot of results have been collated to feed into Defra to highlight the scale of the problem affecting the UK dairy industry.

One million litres of milk discarded due to COVID-19, UK survey finds

Interim data from a Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) survey has found that the amount of milk discarded in the UK between 6 April and 20 April to be just over one million litres, which is in line with the figures produced by AHDB and Dairy UK.

The survey is being completed by farmers receiving a reduced value or having to discard milk, including sheep and goat milk, as a direct result of restrictions brought in to control COVID-19

Currently, the worst affected counties with milk either receiving a reduced value or being discarded are Dorset (2.38 million litres (ml)); Staffordshire (2.17 ml); Kent (1.42 ml), and County Antrim (1.2ml).  

Although the amount of milk being affected seems to have dropped since 20 April, there are still said to be some farmers receiving a reduced price and, occasionally, having to discard milk.

RABDF has stated that it will continue to monitor this volume as more information becomes available when farmers receive their next monthly milk statements.

RABDF Chairman, Peter Alvis, said: “We continue to monitor the situation regarding the loss in value and all milk being discarded. There are about two million litres of milk a day that have not found a home in the retail market. What our survey shows is the negative impact it is having on those farmers most severely affected.

“It is imperative farmers continue submitting their information about the volume and value of milk lost so we can keep Defra informed of the size of the challenge this sector faces.

We request Defra considers the seriousness of the situation and supports these farmers with a hardship payment. Any data we can continue feeding into Defra will only go to help this industry’s cause.”

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