The RPA (Rural Payments Agency) has announced that the voluntary milk production scheme began on 11th September 2016.

The voluntary scheme is designed to provide financial support to farmers across the UK who reduce the amount of cow’s milk that they deliver to wholesale purchasers during a three month period (known as the reduction period). This reduction period is compared with the same 3 month period in the previous calendar year (known as the reference period). The scheme is funded by the EU as part of its broader package of support for farmers facing market difficulties.

There may be up to 4 reduction periods:

  • 1 October to 31 December 2016
  • 1 November 2016 to 31 January 2017
  • 1 December 2016 to 28 February 2017
  • 1 January to 31 March 2017

Farmers will be paid 14 Euro’s / £11.87 per 100kg for the amount of cow’s milk eligible for payment. The exchange rate is that set by the European Central Bank on 31 August 2016

To apply, farmers must:

  • have been delivering cows’ milk to a wholesale purchaser in July 2016 and have been a milk producer in the reference period they are applying for;
  • plan to reduce their cows’ milk deliveries by at least 1,500 kg in the relevant reduction period. The maximum that a producer is able to apply for is 50% reduction of the cows’ milk produced in the reference period;
  • be registered with the RPA;
  • provide proof of their milk deliveries during a reference period in the previous year; and
  • indicate how much they plan to deliver during the corresponding period in the following year.

Clients should be aware of the following deadlines for submission of paperwork if they are considering applying to the scheme:

  • first reduction period – 21 September 2016 at 11am
  • second reduction period – 12 October 2016 at 11am
  • third reduction period – 9 November 2016 at 11am
  • fourth reduction period – 7 December 2016 at 11am

If you have any queries regarding the scheme, please contact one of the specialist solicitors at Myerson, who will be happy to assist.

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