Cry of distress from Sint-Truiden fruit growers

"Politicians give us Russia back"

Europe has extended Russia's boycott this week. For fruit growers (agriculture in general) the consequences are killer. These decisions are no longer acceptable. As a grower said: "Our apples and pears are the weapons against Russia, but these weapons aren't being financed!"

Most European leaders are apparently not properly aware of the impact of these measures. Fruit growers and agriculturalists, but also suppliers and auctions have lost out. Thanks to bridging loans survival was possible, but a third season without a loan will mean the end for a large number of companies. Our auctions and our exporters have made a lot of effort to take over the Russian market (which is very big). Belgian apples and pears were loved among the Russian population. Due to a political conflict this trade relations was stopped within 24 hours. There is work being done to access new markets, but this takes time and will be no solace on the short term. Support measures must be proportional and not just cover our "picking period"," continues the grower.

As local government official of agriculture and European parliament member, Hilde Vautmans reached a few hundred fruit growers who were debating on the crisis on Wednesday evening. Veerle Heeren, CD&V mayor of the largest fruit region in Belgium and federal member of parliament is engaging to support this case, and Ludwig Vandenhove, spa-green deputy of the province of Limburg and former mayor of Sint-Truiden, offers his full collaboration to ensure - over all political party borders - that the Belgian Fruit cultivation may have a future.

Click here for the Facebook page 'Politicians give us Russia back'

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