In a letter to Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Jerzy Bogdan Plewa, Director General of DG Agri, AREFLH asks for an emergency meeting in Brussels and for an increase in withdrawal volumes as part of the exceptional support measures following the Russian embargo.
The situation of European producers of peaches and nectarines is critical, with prices often lower than production costs.
Production volumes are good but marketing is affected by several factors:
- A disturbed market, since the closure of the Russian market in 2014. The European market has not returned to equilibrium since the embargo. Furthermore, new strict phytosanitary requirements have been put in place by the Eurasian Customs Union since July, 1st. It is no longer possible for producers to export to Belarus.
- Turkish competition, benefiting from advantageous customs duties and producing at lower costs.
- An unusual high concentration of small sizes, due to drought and high temperatures, well above the normal values for the period, which have affected the main producing countries. These small sizes are less profitable for producers and their large presence has resulted in an exceptional price reduction, given the quantities available.
This situation is unsustainable for producers, following several years of market crises.
The AREFLH, through its President Simona Caselli, therefore decided to ask the European Commission to activate the emergency measures provided for in Regulation (EU) No 913/2014 and No 932/2014 on the Russian embargo.
“The summer fruit sector, particularly peaches and nectarines, faces serious difficulties.” – explains the president Simona Caselli – “The AREFLH, through the working group of the Market Observatory which analysed the issue, solicited and obtained an emergency appointment to the European Commission to explain the situation and to propose solutions to be put in place quickly. In particular, we call for an immediate increase in withdrawal volumes to support producers. In the future, the organized production system will have to play its role in any event, through restructuring in order to plan and manage the commercial offer. “
The main mission of AREFLH (Assembly of European Regions producing fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants) is:
- To represent its 19 member regions and 22 AOPs, from 7 countries in Europe;
- To defend the economic and social interests of the fruit, vegetable and horticultural sectors to the European authorities;
- To foster exchanges of experience, partnerships and joint projects between regions and professional organisations;
- To actively seek new solutions for the main issues which affect the future of the fruit and vegetables production in Europe.