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Written Question
Farmers: Coronavirus
19 May 2020

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

What steps he is taking to support farmers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Victoria Prentis

Defra took early steps to support farmers, by designating them as key workers and temporarily relaxing drivers’ hours rules. We have worked with banks to help farmers access financial support measures outline by the Chancellor, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

We have supported dairy farmers by announcing a fund in England to help those affected by the loss of the food service sector. We have also temporarily relaxed competition law rules. We are working with AHDB and Diary UK, who have launched a new £1 million campaign to drive consumption of milk. A similar campaign is promoting beef. We are also ensuring that farmers and growers are able to recruit the workers that they require as we approach the busy harvest months.