On Wednesday, the Commission announced 22 new measures to support the sectors affected by COVID-19, such as flexibility in market support programs in different sectors, including fruit and vegetables. According to FEPEX, these measures are insufficient and the Commission must adapt the POs' operational programs to the new situation created by the health crisis, replacing approved investments and expenses with new expenses derived from the pandemic and other current production costs, so that the budget that has already been approved can really contribute to the sustainability of the farms.
Temporary exceptions to EU competition rules have also been announced, which may apply to the flower and potato sectors. However, they only refer to market self-regulation measures, are financed by the producers who have suffered losses, and do not adapt at all to the current situation in which flowers and plants are already being destroyed and producers require financial aid that contributes to the maintenance of farms.
According to the Commission's press release, the measures announced yesterday have been transferred to the Member States, which will have to vote on them, so they are subject to change. For this reason, FEPEX asked the Ministry of Agriculture to continue demanding in Brussels the approval of additional measures that are adjusted to the new reality caused by COVID and that come into effect in these months of dire need.