EU raises E.coli support for vegetable growers

EU

Member States agreed to a Commission proposal to increase the EU support under the emergency plan for vegetable producers affected by the E.Coli crisis from €210 million to €227 million. Hungarian farmers will get €1.5 million (HUF 400 million) from the pool.

Hungary applied for €1.6 million in European Union compensation for losses that farmers in the country sustained as a result of produce left unsold due to the deadly outbreak of E.coli-related illness in Germany in May.

Hungary submitted request for EU compensation for 4,849 tons of fruit and vegetables that farmers were unable to sell between May 26 and June 30 as a result of the May outbreak of E.coli-related stomach illness, which killed over 40 people in Germany.

Minister of Rural Development Sándor Fazekas estimated in early June that Hungarian farmers sustained losses of tens of billions of forints due to the outbreak.

On the basis of the notifications from all Member States on the EU support requested for all the exceptional measures, i.e. withdrawals, green and non-harvesting , it appears that the financial impact of the measures taken in the context of this E-coli crisis has been slightly bigger than expected. Given the significant disturbance of the fruit and vegetables market and the harm caused to the fruit and vegetables sector, the Commission considers it therefore appropriate to increase the budget up to €227 million.
 

Background

An emergency aid package for fresh vegetable growers worth €210 million was agreed by the Commission on 17 June. This scheme allowed for the EU to pay producers for cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchinis, and sweet peppers that have been withdrawn from the market between May 26 and the end of June as a result of the E-coli outbreak. The decision foresees paying a maximum rate of 50% (70% for members of Producers Organizations) of the usual producer price of the different products in June.

Member States had to notify their final demands for compensation by July 18. However, complementary information was needed and sought from some Member States in respect of their notifications. The Commission received and analyzed these complementary information's, and in some cases updated notifications, from the Member States concerned. It has now a clear picture of the total demands.

The total EU support per Member State for the operations undertaken between May 26 and June 30 is set out in the attached table.

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