Commission revamps crisis measures in fruit and veg sector
By Joanna Sopinska | Thursday 12 July 2012
The European Commission has improved crisis measures and the entry price system in the fruit and vegetables sector by making them more efficient and less vulnerable to misuse. A decision to this end was taken, on 12 July, by the Commission’s Management Committee for the common organisation of agricultural markets, which amended the current Implementing Regulation (EU) No 543/2011.
The new implementing regulation is part of the ongoing CAP reform. On the request of Spain, Italy and France, the Commission decided to improve the functioning of the crisis management system in the fruit and vegetables sector in the run-up to the entry into force of the CAP reform, in 2014. One of the important incentives to introduce the changes earlier was the large-scale misuse of the application of the entry price system in force for fruit and vegetables imports from third countries. “In response to demand for more efficient application of the entry price mechanism, we try to improve the implementation of the deductive method, avoiding that third-country exporters systematically circumvent the system,” Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said in March. The new regulation seeks to prevent fraud by better enforcing the traceability of imported consignments from third countries.
Under the new regulation, the amounts of support to be paid to producer organisations per kilo withdrawn from the market are increased for some products. In the case of withdrawals for destinations different from free distribution, amounts are increased to the minimum level of 20% of EU average prices, affecting winter tomatoes, grapes, apricots, pears, aubergines and melons. The amounts of support for free distribution are increased to 30% of EU average prices, affecting the products mentioned above as well as cauliflowers, apples, watermelons, clementines and lemons.