Intervention and Private Storage Aid schemes

Financial support for traders and farmers from intervention and Private Storage Aid schemes


The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) operates the Intervention and Private Storage Aid (PSA) schemes. These schemes offer financial support at times when prices of certain products on the marketplace are low, so the schemes are not available all the time. If you are a trader or farmer, read the information below to find how you may benefit from these schemes.

How do Intervention schemes work?

Intervention schemes support the market by helping to stabilise the prices of certain products. When the price of eligible products become low because of a surplus to demand, RPA can arrange for products to be removed from the market and stored.

When intervention is opened for a particular product, you will be invited to offer eligible product for sale into intervention. RPA will purchase product from you and arrange for the product to be stored off the market, until the market prices stabilise.

Products you can place into intervention are:

  • skimmed milk powder
  • butter
  • paddy rice
  • common wheat
  • durum what
  • beef
  • veal
  • barley
  • maize

Any product you offer into intervention will need to meet the regulatory product specifications and quality standards that will be published if a scheme opens. Sampling and analysis of all products is carried out before accepted into store. This means, you will be asked to lodge a security (like a deposit) before any product is placed into store. When tests confirm the product meets the specifications, the security will be released back to you.

The product is then held in storage, to be sold at a later date when the market has recovered.

How do Private Storage Aid schemes work?

Private Storage Aid (PSA) is an alternative way to help stabilise the prices of certain products. When PSA is opened, you will be invited to remove your own product from the market and place it into your own store for a specified period of time. You will retain ownership of the product during the storage period.

Products you can place into PSA are:

  • white sugar
  • olive oil
  • flax fibre
  • fresh or chilled beef aged 8 months of more
  • butter
  • cheese
  • skimmed milk powder
  • pigmeat
  • sheepmeat
  • goatmeat

Before you place any product into PSA, it must meet the product specifications and quality standards. The storage period will be agreed before placing product into store. A security (like a deposit) will be taken to make sure product is not removed before the agreed period ends. Once the storage period has ended, you can remove product and release it back into the marketplace.

Find out when schemes are open

An Intervention scheme for Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and Butter is currently open.

Please refer to Notice 11/20 Intervention scheme for Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and Butter, published on 21 April 2020, for further details.

Private Storage Aid (PSA) schemes have been opened for Dairy (cheese, butter and Skimmed Milk Powder) and Meat schemes (Beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat). Please refer to Notice to Traders 14/20, published on 5 May 2020, for further details.

What you need to do to take part in a scheme

You must be VAT registered and provide a copy of your VAT certificate with your application.

You must also be register with RPA to take part in these schemes. To register, you can call the Rural Payments Agency on 03000 200 301.

You will need the:

  • business name
  • business address
  • business email address
  • type of business (sole trader, partnership etc.)

If your business will be receiving payments, you will also need to register the business bank account details.

When you’ve registered, you will receive one or more of the following reference numbers for your business (depending on what sort of business it is):

  • Single Business Identifier (SBI)
  • Trader Registration Number (TRN)
  • Vendor Registration Number (VRN)
  • Firm Reference Number (FRN)

Read Rural Payments: registering and updating your details for more information.

For further information about scheme activities, you can email the Trader Team at or phone 03300 416 500 and select option 4.

Published 7 September 2012
Last updated 5 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added notice of new Private Storage Aid (PSA) schemes opening for dairy and meat.

  2. Line added to notify that An Intervention scheme for Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and Butter is currently open

  3. change to listed products

  4. The page has been updated to removed old or out of date notices.

  5. The contact number for Private Storage Aid and dairy intervention has changed.

  6. Fixing references to specialist guides

  7. First published.