The UK Government has temporarily relaxed certain elements of competition law to support the dairy industry amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

By relaxing the competition rules, the government expects that it would allow the dairy industry to work together more to manage milk supply.

UK Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Our dairy industry plays a crucial role in feeding the nation and it is essential that they are able to work together at this time.

“We’ve heard loud and clear our dairy farmers’ concerns, which is why we are further suspending competition rules law to allow dairy farmers to work together on some of the most pressing challenges they are facing. I am also urging farm businesses to access the loans that are available from their bank to support them in this period.

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“We welcome our farmers’ heroic efforts in ensuring food supplies remain resilient and will continue to support them through this difficult time.”

The relaxation, which will be effective soon, will also help the industry to respond to market challenges, avoid surplus milk from wastage and maintain the capacity to fulfil demand in future.

This effort will be led by Dairy UK and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

According to government figures, UK’s dairy farmers produce over 40 million litres of milk every day.

Earlier, the government relaxed competition rules for retailers, suppliers and logistic services to allow them to work together.

UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Covid-19 presents an enormous challenge to the country. We must be adaptable and help businesses implement creative solutions to new problems.

“Temporarily relaxing competition law for the dairy sector will mean farmers can work together to minimise waste of milk and use it to make other essential dairy products.

“This important step will help our dairy farmers weather this storm, providing support to a key sector in the British economy.”