The European Commission plans to take new measures to support the production of peaches and nectarines, a situation further exacerbated by adverse weather conditions and by the embargo declared by Russia in European products.
"Following the recent decline in market prices for peaches and nectarines, urgent action is required. I propose today by the European Commission to take immediate measures with retroactive effect in order to limit supply and to promote demand" said the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos, through a statement.
Among the measures proposed is increasing from 5% to 10% the proportion of fruit that may be withdrawn from the market and distributed free. According to the Commission, measures for the support of individual producers will be taken.
The formal decision will be made in the coming weeks, but will have retroactive effect from today.
These measures were already under discussion from last week, but "the announcement of restrictions on imports from Moscow may even worsen the situation in the market and accelerate the need for action" the Commissioner added.
"We will not hesitate to act and to use the new framework of the Common Agricultural Policy in order to provide timely and proportionate manner to support the markets, which move with difficulties. This first step shows that we watch markets closely and I won't hesitate to do the same to help other sectors dependent on exports to Russia, if necessary" Ciolos said.
Prior to the embargo imposed by Russia, the producers of peaches and nectarines had problems, mainly due to unfavorable weather conditions: a mild spring which resulted to a dramatic increase of the production, and a hot, humid summer with reduced consumption of these fruits.
In the European Union produced annually are 2.5 million tons of peaches and 1.2 million peaches tons of nectarines, while the countries with the biggest producers are Italy, Spain, France and Greece.