On September 13, the Council of Ministers adopted a royal decree laying down the regulatory basis for the granting of minimum State aid to fruit processing plants affected by the frost associated with the Cyril storm, which occurred last April.
The legislative text includes the granting of subsidies for a total amount of 12,050,000 euro in 2022 to conditioning plants that process stone fruit, pome fruit, and/or nuts, and whose productive staff are located in regions affected by frost.
The main objective of this royal decree is to help alleviate the loss of turnover suffered by these companies because of the significant reduction in the volume of fruit they process, which makes it difficult to cover their fixed costs, the MAPA stated.
The beneficiaries of this subsidy must be companies that are owned by fruit and vegetable producer organizations (OPFH) recognized in accordance with Royal Decree 532/2017, of May 26, and that have had a loss of turnover in 2022 that is greater than 30% of the average value of marketed products, including third-party productions (VPC).
The value of the grants, under the de minimis aid scheme, will reach up to 200,000 euro per beneficiary. According to estimates, there will be around one hundred potential beneficiaries. If the amount of the subsidy per company exceeds the budgetary ceiling, a degressive system based on the average VPC of the last five years will be applied.
The approved aid shall be compatible with other de minimis aid in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013, provided that the total amount of aid does not exceed 200,000 euro per fruit plant in the current and the previous two financial years. They shall also be compatible with other subsidies under other Community regulations provided that the total sum of the amounts does not exceed the value loss differential of the marketed products including third parties.
The Autonomous Communities shall publish the calls for such aid in the corresponding official gazette or journal, so that the companies may apply by September 30, 2022.
Based on the applications received, the ministry will make a proposal for territorial distribution of subsidies to be approved at the Sectoral Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development before the end of 2022.