It is understood that the government is considering payment to the dairy farmers after warning that tens of thousands of cows could be slaughtered.
Demand for dairy products in the hotel sector fell with the closure of many cafes and restaurants.
George Eustice will discuss the issue with high-ranking conservatives, while discussions with MPs and trade officials are scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
The Ministry of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it had relaxed competition law to help the industry.
He also said that farmers could access existing financial support measures.
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The coronavirus epidemic has caused problems for the dairy industry, with some farmers forced to discard milk.
It is believed that a hardship fund could take the form of a targeted time-limited payment for severely affected farmers.
Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said, “There is an urgent need for some form of quick support fund for the minority of dairy farmers, who temporarily have no market for their milk, in order to d ‘avoid seeing slaughtered cows’.
Conservative MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said he thought a targeted, time-bound payment could cost between £ 10-20 million.
“I don’t want to see tens of thousands of cows slaughtered unnecessarily because of a coronavirus,” he said.
Welsh affairs select committee chairman Stephen Crabb said he understood why Defra wanted to take the time to assess the problem, but “now is the time to act.”
“A form of payment for the difficulties must be made available to the farmers most affected. “
He added, “The issue of slaughter was raised by local farmers. It does not appear to happen tomorrow but could, if the right action is not taken, be a longer term consequence. “
Chris Loder, the Conservative MP for West Dorset, said: “The government must act urgently to provide a test fund to support dairy farmers in desperate need to prevent the elimination of the national herd. “
The National Farmers Union, Dairy UK and the Provision Trade Federation have proposed measures that include targeted support in the form of grants and a program to allow certain cows to be “put on leave.”
Parfait Perfect storm ’
It is understood that, in recent conference calls, members of the industry have referred to an “apocalyptic scenario” of 80,000 cows slaughtered – out of a national herd of nearly two million people.
However, this figure has been downplayed by some, including Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, who has called this figure “highly unlikely”.
The fall in demand from the hotel sector comes as milk production in the United Kingdom approaches its annual seasonal peak.
Phil Langslow, president of the Provision Trade Federation, called the situation a “perfect storm”.
Langslow, who is also a director at County Milk Products, estimates that 20 million liters of fluid milk per week should have entered the food service business with only about 20% of this market still viable during the current closure.
In a letter to MPs last week, Mr. Eustice said: “Between 5% and 10% of total milk production goes to the restaurant business and therefore there is a small proportion of milk production that does not currently has no house.
“The vast majority of the 10,000 British dairy farmers continue to supply their contracts at the usual price. “
However, Mr. Eustice’s letter drew criticism from certain personalities in the sector.
“I have not heard a single farmer who thought this to be correct,” said Joe Stanley, NFU vice president of Leicestershire.
He said the government had “largely minimized” the problem.
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A Defra spokesperson said the government is working closely with the NFU, Dairy UK and other stakeholders.
“We have already relaxed competition laws to allow the dairy industry to redirect excess milk and adapt to changes in the supply chain.
“We also welcome the initiative of milk suppliers and their farmers to temporarily reduce the quantities they produce, through a range of options, so that when demand returns, our dairy producers can respond.
“We will continue to work with industry to understand the potential impacts on farmers and urge them to access the existing package of available government financial support. “