A CAMPAIGN is calling for urgent support during the coronavirus pandemic.

The NFU campaign is urging MPs around Britain to support the British Dairy Industry, after almost a quarter of dairy farmers are saud to be struggling financially.

The almost complete closure of food service and hospitality outlets has meant the loss of market for about eight million litres of milk per week.

MPs are being asked to call on government to intervene and protect dairy farming businesses from “irreversible damage”.

“This is a totally unprecedented and extremely fast-moving situation,” said Michael Oakes, NFU dairy board chairman.

“I am speaking to dairy farmers every day who’ve hit rock bottom, many significantly impacted by the huge disturbances in the market and now facing deferred payments, uncollected milk and changes to contracts.

“It’s not just cash flow that’s affected, we have also seen a raft of price cuts to dairy farmers on the back of the market disturbances.”

NFU and dairy industry proposals to government include a targeted grant scheme, engagement with the EU Commission to introduce market support measures and a furloughing to help reduce production on a voluntary basis.

“Defra and government have to grasp the seriousness of the situation,” added Michael.

“That is why we are encouraging dairy farmers and the public to write and engage with their local MPs to ensure they are aware of the issues and the actions needed to avoid irreparable damage to the dairy supply chain.

“Unprecedented times mean we need unprecedented measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of the iconic British dairy sector - the backbone of rural life.”