The European Commission has announced EUR125m (US$167m) in emergency funding for growers hit by the Russia ban on agricultural imports.
The funding covers fresh produce that cannot be stored and for which there is “no immediate market alternative available”, Brussels said today (18 August). It will instead be sent to schools, hospitals and other institutions.
“All farmers of the concerned products – whether in producer organisations or not – will be eligible to take up these market support measures where they see fit. Acting early will provide an efficient support to the price paid to producers on the internal market, help the market adjust and be cost effective,” said Dacian Ciolos, EU agricultural and rural development commissioner.
European farmers association Copa-Cogeca welcomed the move, urging swift implementation of the measures to avoid a further deterioration of the market.
“Prices for perishable products like fruit, vegetables and fresh dairy produce are already being badly affected by the crisis, seeing prices drop by over 50% in some cases. Prices for other products targeted by the ban are also coming under severe pressure,” said Copa-Cogeca president Albert Jan Maat.
The measures will be effective until the end of November.
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The European Commission said it would continue to look into the sectors affected by the ban on agriculture and food products and “will not hesitate to support further sectors heavily dependent on exports to Russia or to adapt the measures already announced, if necessary”.