Producers of peaches and nectarines whose business has been affected by a bumper harvest and a reduction in export sales are to receive additional financial support from the EU, the European Commission has confirmed. The measures will help farmers in Greece, Italy, and Spain to cope with the impact of a substantial harvest at a time when imports to key markets have been affected by a toughening of rules there following the Russian ban on fruit and vegetable imports from the EU.
The amendment to the EU rules setting out temporary support measures for fruit and vegetable producers is the latest in a series of decisions by the European Commission to help farmers affected by the 2014 import ban. Fruit producers in the EU have been particularly hit by the ban.
The current measures are a response to the decision by the Eurasian Economic Union to introduce tougher sanitary and phytosanitary (animal and plant health) measures on imports from the EU as of 1 July 2017. At the same time, unexpectedly high yields this year have led to significant stocks of peaches and nectarines especially in Greece, Italy and Spain. These two factors combined have pushed down prices, in some cases to below production costs.
The new rules will compensate farmers for removing another 35,020 tonnes of peaches and nectarines from the market, at a cost of €12.8 million.
In June 2017 the Commission adopted new measures to further help fruit producers affected by the 2014 Russian ban on EU exports. As a result of these measures, some 221,750 tonnes of fruit have been withdrawn from the market. Including the 35,020 tonnes of peaches and nectarines covered by the current changes, the measures cover a total of 256,770 tonnes of fruit. The measures will remain in force until 30 June 2018.
In addition to these exceptional support measures for producers, the EU's response to the Russian ban has focused on improving overall market management to make it more resilient in the future. The aim is to create a more competitive and market-oriented sector, reduce the number of crisis-related fluctuations in producers' income, increase consumption of fruit and vegetables in Europe and expand the use of eco-friendly cultivation and production techniques.
8 September 2017