Pig sector to receive £2.2m COVID-19 support package
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says the coronavirus (COVID-19) support package allocated to the Northern Ireland pig sector, will provide vital support for farmers who endured financial loss due to the temporary closure of Cranswick Country Foods in August 2020. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister Edwin Poots announced on 21 January that £2.2million has been allocated to the pig sector and applications will open next month.
UFU deputy president William Irvine said, “Our pig producers suffered significant losses when Cranswick Country Foods was shut down with immediate affect following a COVID-19 breakout among staff. Alongside the tireless efforts of our stakeholders, the UFU lobbied immensely to gain support for the pig sector.
“This funding will provide essential support to our pig producers and will help sustain farm businesses. It is expected to compensate for a large proportion of the losses incurred by producers while the process plant remained closed. This includes the temporary loss of the Chinese export market, additional penalties on overweight and overfat pigs, and the impact on other pig market avenues. Producers who are eligible to apply will be contacted by DAERA to complete an application form to claim their payments. The UFU encourages farmers who are contacted by DAERA to make it a priority to fill out the necessary paperwork so they can benefit form the funding as soon as possible”