Planas: The measures to support the agri-food sector announced by the European Commission are a step in the right direction

The minister has affirmed that important measures that respond to part of the demand transmitted by Spain to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, in the bilateral last week.

This community initiative, presented yesterday, includes aid for private storage for the dairy and meat sectors -important that for sheep and goats requested by the minister to the commissioner-, measures for market self-organization by operators in highly affected sectors and flexibility in the implementation of support programs for the fruit and vegetables and wine sector, among others.

The minister has expressed his satisfaction with these initiatives, which include some of the proposals made by Spain and the rest of the Member States, raised in a joint statement sent to the European Commission on April 17.

Package of measures

The exceptional measures announced by the community executive include:

Aid for the private storage of dairy products (milk powder, butter and cheese) and meat products (beef, sheep and goats). This measure will favor the temporary reduction of supply, coinciding with the fall in demand.

Flexibility measures in the implementation of support programs for the wine, fruit and vegetables and honey sectors, as well as in school programs for the consumption of milk, fruit and vegetables. This initiative makes the management of funds more flexible to allow these sectors to better face the crisis.

In addition, the possibility of granting flat-rate aid for producers and SMEs, of up to 5,000 and 50,000 euros respectively, charged to the Rural Development funds, is established to deal with situations of difficulty derived from the COVID-19 crisis.

Exceptional repeal of certain competition rules under article 222 of the regulations of the Common Organization of Agricultural Markets, applicable to the dairy, flower and potato sectors, which allows operators to adopt self-organization measures in market regulation. Specifically, these sectors may adopt joint measures to stabilize the markets. For example, the dairy sector may collectively plan milk production, while the flower and potato sectors will be allowed to withdraw production from the market. These decisions will only be allowed for a maximum period of 6 months.

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