Support scheme for pig producers affected by COVID-19 opens today

Poultry and pig producers directly impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) will receive a boost as a £4m support scheme opens today for the sectors. For pig producers, the funding is to help cover the losses incurred because of the sudden closure of Cranswick Country Foods in August 2020.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) called the support scheme much needed. UFU deputy president William Irvine commented that those affected by the closure of Cranswick Country Foods will be relieved at the news that progress is being made to get the funding rolled out to those who need it.

He said: “Our pig producers have been patiently waiting for this update since it was announced earlier in the year that funding had been allocated to the sector, while our poultry producers awaited confirmation of funding.

The support package will help to cover a proportion of the losses incurred by pig producers including the temporary loss of the Chinese export market and overweight deductions for heavy pigs as a result of the closure. However, Mr Irving added it will not cover the total losses that producers endured.

Letters are expected to arrive with pig producers and broiler breeders who are eligible for COVID-19 support shortly. Recipients will be invited to apply for the support package and guidance will be provided on how to do this. The application must be completed online via DAERA Online Services and the deadline is Wednesday 24 March 2021.

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