The Spanish Federation of Associations of Producers and Exporters of Fruits, Vegetables, Flowers and Live Plants, FEPEX, has proposed a number of measures to protect the fruit and vegetable sector from the impact of the health crisis caused by COVID-19.
The measures are divided into three areas: operational programs, exceptional Community-wide measures to deal with market disruptions, and the flexibility of worker mobility.
Regarding the operational programs of fruit and vegetable producer organizations, FEPEX has proposed changes in the regulations in order to optimize the approved budgets, making the introduction of modifications more flexible. This would allow the extraordinary expenses derived from the COVID-19, which range from individual protective equipment to extraordinary logistics costs, to be taken into account.
The organization also calls for the adoption of exceptional aid measures funded by the European Commission and accessible to all producers, regardless of whether they are members of producer organizations. These would entail product withdrawals, green harvesting or the non-harvesting of the production. The aim is to allow producers to withdraw harvested products or paralyze part of or all their production in order to adapt the supply to the changing demand and avoid further market disruptions.
Thirdly, FEPEX wants more flexibility in the measures affecting the transport of workers to the fruit and vegetable farms, which are very labor intensive, since the current limitation makes effective mobility very difficult.