The news comes of a €70million fund being set aside to help European fruit producers overcome this latest challenge, with Russia’s ban extended until this time next year.
These new scheme, as mentioned, will be worth up to €70million to said fruit producers and will provide them with a safety net, after all the uncertainty in the industry following Russia’s ban extension.
It aims to compensate those producers who distribute their excess produce to charities or organisations to help others and those who use it to make animal feed, compost or for processing.
Speaking of the announcement was the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan.
He spoke of all the hard work put into this scheme by the Commission, saying they have done all they can to support these affected food producers. He added that this sends a clear single of the commissions support to farmers. He said, "the Commission has done everything in its power to support European producers negatively affected by the Russian ban. This latest extension sends yet another clear signal that we will remain firmly and fearlessly on the side of our farmers. These support measures go hand in hand with our ongoing work to modernise and simplify the CAP for the benefit of both our farmers and our wider European society’.
The scheme follows recent support measures offered to the agricultural industry with Brexit looming and because of the effects of the extended Russian ban.
The Commission carry out regular monitoring and assessments of markets and results have shown the effectiveness of these new measures which has shown improvement in markets for non -permanent crops.
The predominant amount of production affected by this Russian Ban extension have now been redirected to other alternative markets, and now prices have stabilized. That being said these new measures have been implemented specifically to help the permanent crop (fruit tree) sector.
These new measures will now see producers benefitting from higher rates of EU co-financing under regular support measures. Farmers will now receive 100% support from the EU for the withdrawals of ‘free’ distribution (fruits to charities etc), avoiding food waste.
As mentioned above food sent for composting and unripe fruit at harvest will also receive support, though lower levels.
The proposed scheme will cover a maximum quantity of 165,835 tonnes of fruit. This is shared between four different types of trees: apples and pears; plums; citrus fruits; and peaches and nectarines.
The measures cover 12 Member States, and different withdrawal volumes will apply to ensure that the financial support reaches the producers most in need.
In addition to the extension of these exceptional measures, European fruit and vegetables producers continue to benefit from other measures under the EU's common agricultural policy such as direct payments, rural development funding and financial support for producer organisations, reaching a total of around €700 million a year.