Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
Producers and marketers of fresh fruits and vegetables started the year uncertain as to what they should expect from the evolution of the sharp rises in costs, inflation, the framework of community aid, the application of the food chain law, and labour reform. The normative development of the Common Agricultural Policy (PAC) will conclude in 2022 and it’s essential that the national model includes access to direct aid for the entire sector, stated Jose Maria Pozancos, the head of Fepex, the federation of producers and exporters of fruit and vegetables.
In addition, the sector expects the ‘interventions’ in the fruit and vegetable sector for the CAP 2023/27 are regulated this year when the regulations on the recognition of producer organizations and funds and operational programs are reviewed. He also said that the European recovery funds due to the COVID-19 crisis should be used to improve the competitiveness and technological level of farms, and regretted that the budget to do this wasn’t proportional to the existing challenges.
He also said they were waiting to see how the adaptation of the Chain Law to the commercial obligations of Spain’s main foreign destination markets will be formalized, as national regulations are more demanding than the regulations of other EU countries that also export, such as the Netherlands or France. Pozancos said he was concerned that the rise in inflation in the coming months might not be a temporary issue but a structural one because, if this happens, it would be within a context of increased costs and the entire production model would have to be reviewed.
He also said collaborative digital platforms should be promoted in the sector to establish measures and agreements that allow the broad exchange of information, with a view to planning campaigns.