The EU has voted to extend private storage aid for butter and milk powder until February

The EU has voted to extend private storage aid for butter and milk powder until February

The European Union's private storage aid programme for butter and skimmed milk powder has been extended into the new year.

The move came after 27 member states voted in favour of the measure. The UK abstained from the vote.

A spokesperson for the UK's Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs said it believed such measures "won't solve the long-term problem".

The measure was originally announced in August following the ban on dairy imports by Russia. It was aimed at alleviating the impact to dairy producers. It also included cheese, but this aid was removed in September after the EU said there had been a "disproportionate surge in interest" from producers in regions "not traditionally exporting significant quantities to Russia".

The extension will see aid continue until the end of February 2015. Product placed into storage will be available to enter the market between December 2014 and September 2015, depending on storage time.

The spokesperson for Defra said: "We’d like to see the focus put on opening up new markets for dairy products like skimmed milk powder and butter. It's also difficult to support a proposal when it's unclear how it will be funded."