Guidance

Small Dairy Farmers Scheme

The Small Dairy Farmers Scheme provides support to eligible farmers who apply for a one-off payment.

Latest news

Payment information for Northern Ireland has been updated below.

The scheme closed at midnight on 31 May 2017. RPA will reject any applications received after this date.

The total fund available for the scheme has been updated, and the pence per litre payment rate and payment date have been published.

What is the Small Dairy Farmers Scheme?

In England, a fund of approximately £12.38 million has been made available to support small dairy farmers. The final allocation was dependent on uptake by farmers across all EU adjustment aid schemes.

In Northern Ireland, £4.1 million of funding is being spent across a range of measures, with the amount of funding remaining from the Northern Ireland Exceptional Adjustment Aid (EAA) allocation, available for small dairy farmers.

The scheme will provide a one off payment to eligible farmers who choose to apply.

Who can apply?

You can apply for this scheme if both of the following apply:

  • you had an annual cows’ milk production of up to and including 1,000,000 litres (or equivalent in kilograms) during the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016

  • you are still active in cows’ milk production.

To convert from kilograms to litres, you should divide kilograms by the conversion rate of 1.03.

This scheme is for producers in England and Northern Ireland only. However, if you are a cross-border farmer in Wales or Scotland, you may apply if the majority of your land is based in England and you received your Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2016 payment from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). If you are a cross-border farmer in Northern Ireland you may apply if you received your BPS 2016 payment from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

How and when to apply

To apply:

Applications must be received by RPA by midnight on 31 May 2017. Applications received after this date will be rejected.

Wholesale producers of cows’ milk

You will be asked to provide the following information on your application:

  • the total volume of cows’ milk delivered to first purchasers (in litres or kilograms) during the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016

  • details of your purchaser(s) in April 2017.

You must send proof showing your total cows’ milk deliveries to first purchasers during the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. Proof could be a copy of your annual production statement or individual monthly production statements.

Direct sellers of cows’ milk or milk products

If you sold cows’ milk or milk products directly, you will be asked to provide the following information on your application:

  • the total volume of cows’ milk (in litres or kilograms) produced during the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, either for sale directly to the public or used to make products for sale directly to the public.

You must send proof of the figure you have sent to RPA for the volume of cows’ milk used for direct sales. Farmers in England should provide a copy of your Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) levy invoice. Additional proof could be production records, sales invoice/sales records, milk/milk product stock records.

You must also send proof that you are still active in cows’ milk production in April 2017. Proof could be monthly milk statements, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) returns, stock records, sales invoices or evidence from the national milk recording system.

If you are a wholesale producer and a direct seller of cows’ milk, you will need to provide both sets of information and proofs.

Where to send your application form and proof

Farmers with all or the majority of your land in England should email your completed application form and proof to smalldairyfarmersscheme@rpa.gsi.gov.uk.

Farmers in Northern Ireland should email your completed application form and proof to NI-SDFS@rpa.gsi.gov.uk.

If you do not have access to email, you can post to:

Small Dairy Farmers Scheme
Rural Payments Agency
Room 151
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE4 7YH

You are responsible for the delivery of your application so RPA recommends that you use a tracked postal service that offers guaranteed delivery by 31 May 2017.

Payments

You must be registered on the Rural Payments service before RPA can make a payment to you.

Payments will be capped at 500,000 litres of cows’ milk production.

In England, payment will be calculated at the rate of 1.02078 pence per litre up to the cap of 500,000 litres of production. RPA is making payments from 4 August 2017. Payments may take up to 3 working days to reach bank accounts.

In Northern Ireland, payment will be calculated at 0.2 pence per litre up to the cap of 500,000 litres of production. RPA will aim to make payments by the end of September 2017 using the bank account details RPA holds.

If your bank details have changed recently, contact RPA on 03000 200 301.

Inspections

RPA may need to check the information you have provided before payment is made.

Appeals

You can appeal if you think RPA has:

  • made a mistake with your application

  • made a processing error

You must set out the reason for your appeal under one (or both) of these criteria.

You need to appeal within 10 working days of receiving your decision letter.

Send your appeal to:

Appeals Team
Rural Payments Agency
Sterling House
Dix’s Field
Exeter
EX1 1QA

Email: reviewappealsteam@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

Your appeal will be referred for an internal review. If you disagree with the outcome of this review, you can request that your appeal is sent to a panel of senior officials.

Contact us

Telephone 03300 416500

Published 21 April 2017
Last updated 15 September 2017 + show all updates
  1. Small Dairy Farmers Scheme: payment information for Northern Ireland has been updated.
  2. The total fund available for the scheme has been updated. The pence per litre payment rate and payment date have been published.
  3. Payment information for England updated.
  4. Update regarding payment rate
  5. Update to latest news to state that the scheme closed at midnight on 31 May 2017.
  6. Latest news updated with details of scheme closing.
  7. Information added for the Small Dairy Farmers Scheme in Northern Ireland.
  8. First published.