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Romania officially submitted to EC a report on the state of its fruit and vegetables sector


Romania has officially submitted to the European Commission a report on the situation of its fruit and vegetables sector following the embargo imposed by the Russian Federation on food products from the European Union, but proposals for financial aid to Romanian producers will be unveiled at a meeting in Brussels on August 14, State Secretary with Romania's Ministry of Agriculture Daniel Botanoiu told Agerpres on Tuesday.

'Last week, we informally submitted a note to the European Commission regarding the state of Romania's fruit and vegetables sector following the embargo imposed by the Russian Federation on fruit and vegetables from Romania, and on August 12, the note was officially submitted to Brussels. Romania's proposal aims to cover losses sustained by producers, irrespective of how they are organised. We will ask for aid depending om the solution taken by the European Commission, but for the time being there is no damage assessment,' said Botanoiu.

He added that on August 11, Directorate General Agriculture of the European Commission looked into the impact of the sanctions imposed by Russia on the market, while on August 12, at a new extraordinary meeting of the EU's Political and Security Committee talks focused on how the measures taken by Russia affect EU's agriculture and trade. On August 14, an extraordinary meeting of the Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets will be held in Brussels, where each member state will present its specific issues and proposals.

'At the meeting of August 14, one of the possible solutions for the compensation of producers' losses will be approved. It can be public intervention, green harvesting or free distribution. Depending on the solution, Romania will ask for support regarding that measure. To this end, we have asked for nationwide data concerning the fruit and vegetables sector to assess damage, no matter whether producers are organised or not,' said Botanoiu.

The European Union, under its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), an intervention instrument, has a crisis reserve worth 433 million euro that can be used to come to the aid of European producers.

Romanian producers of fruit and vegetables have asked the Agriculture Ministry to notify the European Commission about the losses they have sustained ever since the imposition by the Russian Federation of its embargo on EU member states, claiming 300 million euros to cover costs.

Director General Aurel Tanase of the Prodcom National Fruit and Vegetables Inter-professional Organisation of Romania said Monday that the local producers of fruit and vegetables are unable to cash in on the 2014 yields because of an invasion of fruit and vegetables initially bound for the Russian market but that, because of the embargo imposed by the Russian Federation on the European Union member states, ended up in Romania, thus blocking the Romanian operators' internal and intra-community trade.

He argued that tens of trucks are rerouted from the Russian Federation to EU member states and some of them will end up in Romania.

Romania's Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin has recently stated that Romania will not be directly affected by Russia's decision to ban food imports from the US and the European Union, because exports were not that big, just worth some 41 million euros in 2013.

He did not rule out possible effects in time in the domestic market because of a large inflow of products coming from countries that export massively to Russia.