The Ulster Farmers’ Union has welcomed the EU Commission’s announcement that it will be introducing measures, including Private Storage Aid (PSA) for butter, skimmed milk powder (SMP) and certain cheeses, to help alleviate pressure on the EU dairy sector following the Russian ban on EU food imports.

UFU Dairy Policy Committee chairman Jonathan Moore said; “Despite only a small volume of Northern Ireland dairy products exported to the Russian market, the knock-on effect of their ban on all EU food imports will undeniably have an impact on our dairy sector. The Russian ban has come at a time when dairy farmers are already facing a difficult situation with local dairy markets experiencing volatility as farm gate prices are reducing and production falls out of sync with product demand. With many EU countries dependent on the Russian market for dairy exports, these countries will be looking for a new home for their displaced dairy products and this is likely to create fierce competition in world markets.

“The introduction of Private Storage Aid (PSA) will help to bring some much needed stability to the market by withdrawing surplus product and halting falling prices. The impact of PSA will depend on how quickly processors shift products and the hope is that the PSA mechanism will create a much need floor in the market.”