According to ICOS, the EU’s Council of Agriculture Ministers has agreed all of the technical details relating to the implementation of the previously confirmed Aids to Private Storage (APS) scheme for the EU dairy sector.

The actual APS rates will be:

  1. Butter fixed €18.93 per tonne plus .28c a day.
  2. SMP fixed €8.86 per tonne plus .16c a day.
  3. Cheeses fixed €15.57 per tonne plus .40c a day

From an ICOS perspective the main ‘wins’ have been the inclusion of Cheddar in PSA, and the fact that PSA products can be stored in any country, not just in the member state where it was produced. Significantly, this will give Irish processers the ability to store cheddar in the UK where the companies have and need stocks.

The storage ceiling for cheese will be 155,000 tonnes with storage allowed for up to seven months from the date of entry into storage. There will be an extension of Intervention for butter and SMP, with the scheme extended from September 30 to December 31st with the understanding that if the market is still under pressure that this date can be again extended.

ICOS sees these latter matters as a limited but welcome first salvo. However, the organisation is working on a number of other tools to help steady the ship, such as raised intervention prices, targeted export refunds, the lifting of trade restrictions lifting and a butterfat adjustment to limit the superlevy bill to Irish  farmers.

An ICOS representative in Brussles said: “We have met commission officials, MEPs and our European Agri Business counterparts to further our case, and yesterday we met Commissioner Ciolos himself.