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Exceptional Measures to Assist Peach and Nectarine Producers

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Exceptional Measures to Assist Peach and Nectarine Producers

Exceptional Measures to Assist Peach and Nectarine Producers
August 12
11:45 2014

The European Commission is moving to introduce support measures for the EU peach and nectarine sectors, notably by increasing the volumes of fruit eligible for withdrawal operations and free distribution. These markets have been hard hit by unfavourable weather conditions, with additional pressure now resulting from the import ban introduced by Russia.

The measures proposed are to increase from 5% to 10% the production of Producer Organisations (POs) that may be withdrawn for free distribution. Secondly, exceptional support measures will also be made available to non-members of POs (paid at 50% of the PO withdrawal price). In this way, the measures will also be available to individual growers, provided the necessary controls are in place. Finally, extra funds will be provided for promotion, under the promotion actions in Producer Organisation operational programmes (under the usual co-financing arrangements). The formal decision will be taken in the coming weeks, but it will apply retro-actively. This was a step already under discussion but the announcement of import restrictions by Russia risks to further aggravate the market situation and has accelerated the need for action.

The main EU producers of peaches (EU annual production = 2.4 – 2.5 million tonnes) and nectarines (1.1 – 1.2mt) are Italy, Spain, France and Greece. Although there is always a seasonal variability on the market due to weather conditions, this year has seen a particularly negative impact on the market. Weather conditions in Spring/early Summer saw both an increase in production, and also an advance in maturity such that there was a much more intense availability of products at the start of the season than usual – rather than a more even spread of supply over several weeks. Thereafter, the cooler and more humid condition in June and July slowed down consumption.

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