Scottish government to support dairy farmers on the Isle of Bute

Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has confirmed that he will be providing additional support to dairy farmers on the Isle of Bute for the next six months.

Around £65,000 is being provided in the light of the exceptional circumstances being faced by dairy farmers on Bute. The island is located in the Clyde Estuary, off Scotland’s west coast.

The support will be used to cover the cost of tankers returning empty from the nearby Scottish mainland, in order to collect milk from the island.

The move follows concerns about the recent decision by the dairy co-operative First Milk to further reduce the price of milk paid to farmers on Bute.

“We have been doing everything we can to help our dairy farmers through the recent deductions in milk prices globally,” said Lochhead.

“However, the recent announcement from First Milk that they will pay farmers on Bute a lower price for their milk is concerning and clearly highlights the extra challenges the dairy sector faces on this Island.”

Lochhead said that he recognises the significant additional burden being faced by dairy farmers on Bute.

“I look forward to hearing from First Milk about their plans to ensure a sustainable future for these farmers and am pleased the Scottish government is able to provide some short-term funding in the meantime.”

Separate measures have also been agreed to provide Campbeltown Creamery, which is located on the Mull of Kintyre, with £400,000 of public funding.

The Scottish government has already set up the Dairy Growth Board and published the Dairy Action Plan to help increase exports. This work will take a significant step forward with the first glimpse of the Scottish Dairy Brand, expected at the upcoming Highland Show in Edinburgh.