As much as €82m in emergency funding will be made available to the EU apple and pear sectors this season as the European Commission looks to limit the impact of Russia’s wide-reaching ban on fresh produce.
The funding, announced by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloș on 18 August, is part of a support package worth a total of €125m that was formally adopted in Brussels today and is due to be published in the Commission’s Official Journal on Saturday 30 September.
Introduced as an emergency measure to address an anticipated oversupply of fresh fruit and vegetables on the EU market following Russia’s embargo, the package provides for withdrawals (for example free distribution or composting) and so-called green-harvesting (thinning) or even non-harvesting during the period 18 August to 30 November.
The package covers tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, sweet peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, gherkins, mushrooms, plums, soft fruit, table grapes, kiwifruit, apples and pears.
In order to ensure that the funds are not all taken up by one or two sectors, the Commission confirmed the €82m limit for apples and pears together, with a limit of €43m for the other sectors combined.