The EU has greenlighted proposals to extend the intervention period for butter. Intervention, which was due to end in August, will now continue until 28 February 2010 after the EC warned the market needed more time to stabilise.

So far the EC has bought up 110,000 tonnes of excess butter and twice that of SMP to help counteract falling dairy commodity prices. The so-called butter mountains are now set to grow significantly, with normal intervention limits of 30,000 tonnes of butter and 109,000 tonnes of SMP already exceeded.