If you are experiencing any issues as a result of COVID-19, please get in touch and we will do all we can to help.
Below is our recent letter to George Eustice, NFU and RABDF. It is important than goats are included for any compensation for milk dumped during the Covid-19 emergency. We have received positive responses from the NFU and RABDF, and we would encourage any affected members to complete the RABDF survey at https://www.rabdf.co.uk/survey
I am writing on behalf of the Milking Goat Association which is the body representing UK commercial goat farmers. Most of our members are milk producers but many also produce goat meat. Both the dairy goat and meat sectors have been impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak due to the loss of the food service and hospitality markets. The worst hit MGA members are those that supply only the food service sectors. Many of these members either make their own artisan cheeses supplied to the hospitality sector or supply dairy’s that do so. These businesses have been hit very hard with some of them having to throw all their milk away.
Like all livestock businesses they still have to feed and care for their animals every day regardless leaving them with bills to pay and no revenue. Clearly unless something is done to help they will rapidly go out of business. As we are a small and specialist industry there would be no rapid recovery as the goats and farmers with their specialist skills would be lost.
I note from your organisations news briefings that you have put together a bailout package to help dairy farmers affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. I would urge you to ensure that the UK dairy goat sector is covered by this package.
I would like to clarify three points of difference to the dairy cow industry
Firstly we have a “considerably higher cost base”
Secondly this results in a “higher price paid for goat’s milk”
Thirdly the dairy goat sector would need “55p per litre for raw goat’s milk” by means of compensation rather than the 25p put forward for the dairy cow sector.
Yours faithfully Philip Ormerod Press secretary MGA