The European Commission has recently approved another batch of financial support for the market with perishable fruits and vegetables worth 165 million euros. The emergency market measures were introduced after Russia had retaliated to West-imposed sanctions and introduced a ban on imports of selected EU agricultural products. The new funding will financially cover the withdrawal of surplus volumes from the market. 165 million euros come on the top of the previously announced package of 125 million euros, which were suspended in mid-September due to the fact that the full budget allocation had been already claimed.
The new wave of funding will include an annex outlining eligible volumes in individual member countries with specific figures per product group. The volumes are established based on export volumes including amounts deducted to take account of volumes already claimed under the first scheme of 125 million euros. The new batch of funding will now, for the first time, cover also oranges, mandarins, and clementines. As EU Agricultural Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, commented, he was pleased that the Commission had managed to mobilize a further €165 million to help ease the market pressure for fruit and vegetable growers following the Russian ban. “This programme will be more targeted than the initial scheme, although there is still some flexibility within the 4 product groups. These market support measures will provide short-term relief,” he added.
Like the previous scheme, the new batch of support envisages to finance withdrawals of both fully EU-funded free distribution and withdrawals for non-food use with a lower degree of EU support. As previously, the new aid package will be available also to those producers who are not members of producer organizations, although funding is higher for members (up to 75 percent compared to 50 percent for non-members).