Fruit and vegetables: Free distribution
Produce withdrawn from the market to help growers manage periodic crises is donated to various charitable and public service bodies in the EU.
Where growers withdraw produce from the market as part of crisis management, they can receive funding under the EU regime for disposing of it.
The most generous funding is for "free distribution" (the aim being to stimulate greater consumption of fruit and vegetables in the EU).
This involves giving produce for free to the following bodies:
- recognised charitable bodies and foundations, for use in their work helping the disadvantaged
penal institutions, schools/public education institutions, children’s holiday camps, hospitals and old people’s homes.
National authorities must designate which such bodies can receive free produce and ensure the quantities they receive are additional to (i.e. not replacing) the quantities these bodies normally buy in.
The EU funds 100% of free distribution (compared to 50 or 60% for other uses of withdrawn produce), for quantities up to 5% of the PO's total marketed volume. This consists of the following:
- compensation paid in €/100 kg of withdrawn produce (with maximum amounts set for the main 16 products)
- flat-rate amounts for logistical costs (transport, sorting and packing)
National authorities must take all the necessary steps to facilitate contact and cooperation between POs and the bodies they have approved to receive free produce.