Raising the intervention price for dairy products would take 18 months, the EU Commission has confirmed.

As prices for dairy commodities continue to fall, political pressure has been mounting for an increase in the intervention price to reflect increased production costs. The current intervention price was set back in 2007, and equates to a milk price of about 21c/litre.

Current production costs range from as high as 35c/litre in high-cost systems, to 26c/litre in Ireland. However, for Commissioner Phil Hogan to change the price would require full co-decision of the European Parliament.

It would be regarded as re-opening the “basic act”, said a spokesman for Commissioner Hogan, and would also be subject to independent impact assessments and public consultations.

As a result, any move to change intervention price now would not come to fruition until early 2017, even if it did get the backing of agriculture ministers from around the EU and from the parliament.

Some farm organisations and MEPs have been calling for the commission to raise intervention prices and take product out of the market at this time.