UK Food System in Light of COVID-19
COVID-19 pandemic affected the vast majority of agriculture sectors. Lockdown and emerging restrictions not solely harmed specific areas related to the food industry, but as well revealed their true condition and exposed some issues of the fragile system. Such a scheme relates to the British food industry and specifically to food manufacturers and farmers’ situations. As it is calculated, 52% of the food consumed in the UK is produced nationally, but the remaining 47% is imported. Food remains mostly imported from the EU and relies on a just-in-time supply chain, not very resilient to rapid modifications.
Major difficulties that food and dairy producers faced from March 2020 are farmgate price cuts, alterations in payment terms, and fiat requests to optimize milk production. As the situation remains dynamic and ever-changing, farmers have to respond quickly and cautiously to the government’s ongoing decisions. By the end of October 2020, special funds will be channeled to help those in need. Producers affected by a price collapse as lockdown took hold are going to be able to apply for a subsidy from this week (beginning from Monday 07.09.2020). the total amount of £21m is set to be paid out.
Eleven million pounds of the so-called Stormont Covid-19 support scheme will go to dairy farmers who saw their milk price decrease as global commodity markets collapsed and businesses as bars, hotels, and restaurants remain closed. Seven million pounds from the fund are meant for beef farmers who faced such problems. The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs claims, the money will compensate beef and sheep producers for 100% of their losses, while dairy farmers will have 80% of losses covered.