The European Union (EU) on Monday announced exceptional support measures for the bloc’s producers of perishable fruit and vegetables to reduce the impact from Russian sanctions.
In the context of Russian restrictions on imports of EU agricultural products and following on from last week’s Management Committee meeting on the market situation, EU’s exclusive body, the European Commission said in a statement that to introduce support measures for certain perishable fruits and vegetables.
Commenting on the decision, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said the support measures could help the market adjust and be cost effective.
"All farmers of the concerned products - whether in producer organisations or not - will be eligible to take up these market support measures where they see fit," said the commissioner.
The products concerned by the measures announced Monday includes tomatoes, carrots, white cabbage, peppers, cauliflowers, cucumbers, and gherkins, mushrooms, apples, pear, red fruits, table grapes and kiwis.
According to the statement, the markets for these products are in full season, with no storage option for most of them and no immediate alternative market available.
The exceptional measures announced Monday will include market withdrawals especially for free distribution, compensation for non-harvesting and green harvesting. The financial assistance will cover all producers whether they are organised in producers organisation or not.
The ongoing market situation for all products will be discussed in another meeting with member state experts and experts from the European Parliament scheduled to take place in Brussels on Friday.
The EU said they will continue following markets development for all the sectors affected by the Russian ban on agriculture and food products in close contacts with member states and will not hesitate to support further sectors heavily dependent on exports to Russia or to adapt the measures already announced, if necessary.