The UK has become the fourth country to sell dairy product into intervention.

According to latest statistics from the European Commission’s Milk Market Observatory the UK last week joined Poland, Belgium, and Lithuania in using intervention when it offer just under 450t of skimmed milk powder to the scheme.

Previously, Poland and Belgium followed Lithuania’s lead in selling dairy product into intervention.

It now means that there is currently just under 4,200t of skimmed milk powder (SMP) in public intervention with Belgium offering 1,800t and Poland 880t to date.

Lithuania which was the first country to use the measure since 2009 offered has offered 1,300t of (SMP) to date.

Low milk prices in the region of 23p/L has sparked significant protests in the UK as farmer union’s say that their members are struggle to make a living in the industry.

UK farmer unions are calling on their ministers to ‘stand up’ for British farming at a crucial meeting of European Agriculture Ministers on September 7. In particular, the unions are looking for Ministers to ensure that European safety nets are at a proper level and do something to underwrite the short term credit position of vulnerable farmers.

According to the most recent DEFRA figures, the average UK farmgate price stood at 23.66ppl in June. This was a 0.37p/L (1.5%) decrease on the May average price. The June 2015 price was 8.00p/L (25.3%) lower than the same month last year.

The Northern Ireland (NI) average for June was 19.85p/L, a decrease of 1.03p/L (4.9%) compared with May. The June price is 9.88p/L (33.2%) lower than the previous year.