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Vegetable prices surge 4-5 times in Romania

Vegetable prices in Romania surged 4-5 times in 2007, compared to last year, because of drought and speculators, an official said in Bucharest on Monday.

Aurel Tanase, director general of National Inter-professional Organization Prod Com Vegetables and Fruits in Romania (OINLF), said: „We must discover together with the authorities solutions for the sale of floral products within a system without intermediaries. At present, this system disadvantages producers, but works in favor of speculators, who push up the price of vegetables and fruits two to three-fold.”

Representatives of the organization in the vegetables and fruits sector are also asking for aid regarding the application of a similar tax regime for all producers. „Currently, a proportion of 85% of the production of vegetables and fruits is made by small producers, who fail to pay VAT, neither observe European packaging and labeling norms, nor the quality and sale conditions. Even though Romania has adopted the European legislation in the field, it is not evenly applied to all categories of producers,” the OINLF chief explained.

At the same time, OINLF is asking the authorities to get involved in boosting the setting up of producer groups and organizations, in order to attract the European funds, as well as in programs of financial aid in the area of vegetables and fruits packaging. Producers are also asking for VAT reduction applied to all these products, from the actual 19% to a 7-9% level, in line with the other European Union countries. (