The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed this week supported a European decision to suspend automatic intervention buy-in of skimmed milk powder (SMP) at the fixed price of €1,698/t when the scheme opens for annual season on 1 March.

Instead, EU member states including Ireland have approved in principle a European Commission proposal to use tenders to decide what volumes of SMP to take off the market, if any, and at what price on a case-by-case basis.