Boost for fruit and vegetable producers
17 March, 2017
New rules adopted last Monday by the Commission provide simpler rules, reduced administrative burden and greater financial support for Europe's fruit and vegetable producers, the EU press service reported. Following the end of a two-year review, an updated and simplified regulation of the sector aims to strengthen the role of producer organisations, while at the same time improving the functioning of the existing market management scheme.
“It is essential that the millions of farmers producing some of the highest quality food in the world are adequately rewarded for their efforts and that consumers continue to have access to such produce,” Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said, adding that the Commission would continue to stand by the sector. Some €47bn worth of fruits and vegetables are produced every year by 3.4 million holdings across the EU, roughly a quarter of all EU farms.
In addition to the direct aid and the EU co-financing of rural development projects, EU fruit and vegetable growers have benefited of exceptional support measures totalling €430m since the imposition by Russia of an embargo on EU agri-food exports in August 2014. The Commission also provides additional funding of about €700m every year.
In addition to this aid, the new rules will bring an increase in support to the fruit and vegetable sector for market withdrawals; a greater attractivity of producer organisations to producers that are currently not members; and a simplification and clarification of the legislation with regards to transnational producer organisations and their associations.