The EU Commission has stopped the Private Cheese Storage Aid scheme

The EU Commission has stopped the Private Cheese Storage Aid scheme

The European Commission has closed the storage aid it had put in place for cheese producers in the wake of Russia's ban on EU imports.

Brussels said there had been a "disproportionate surge in interest" from producers in regions "not traditionally exporting significant quantities to Russia".

The measure had been launched in a bid to support EU cheese producers facing an oversupply of cheese stock after Moscow's embargo on dairy products from the bloc in retaliation to sanctions from the West.

In a statement yesterday (23 September), the Commission said it was putting a stop to the scheme as a "precautionary step to avoid the possibility of reaching the maximum volume of 155,000 tonnes so soon after the measure was opened".

The scheme has been closed with immediate effect "in order to reduce the risk of an inefficient use of the union budget", Brussels added.

However, similar measures for butter and skimmed milk powder will remain open until the end of the year.

Earlier this month, the Commission also shut down an emergency EUR125m fund for fruit and veg producers. The body said figures submitted for some products are "several times higher than the total EU average annual exports to Russia". As a result it is now looking at proposing "a more targeted scheme".