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EU To Extend Support For Wine, Fruit And Vegetables Sectors

The European Commission said on Wednesday it would increase support and extend existing measures for the wine, fruit and vegetable sectors after they suffered from spring frosts, floods and heat waves this year.

Agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said the sectors' problems had come on top of a difficult 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

"These much-needed support measures will (relieve) producers across the EU during these difficult times, on top of the ones already put forward in 2020 and extended in 2021," he said.

In April, French farm office FranceAgriMer said it was too early to estimate the impact on grain crops from a severe frost that hit France but there is some concern over damage in the central and southern parts of the country.

Harvest Insurance

For wine, the EU budget contribution to harvest insurance has been increased to 80% from 70%, and the bloc has doubled the support it provides to cover the cost of setting up mutual funds.

For fruit and vegetables, the EU will provide compensation to producer organisations of at least 85% of last year's production levels even if this year's value is lower.

Compensation Plan

The compensation is offered if production is down at least 35% from the previous year due to natural disasters, climatic events, plant diseases or pest infestations.

The Commission has already offered support to the wine sector, with measures in 2020 including the provision of more funds for vineyard conversion and green harvesting. Other measures have helped fruit and vegetable producers.

These "flexibility measures" would be extended until 15 October, 2022, the Commission said.

The French government pledged €1 billion ($1.2 billion) of financial aid for farmers who were worst affected by spring frosts and cold weather in April.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Supply Chain news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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