DEFRA letter to PO's and Growers

by Tim Mudge

The following letter has been recived from DEFRA:

 

Dear all


Russian Import Ban: EU support scheme for fruit and vegetable growers


We have had a number of discussions with industry representatives over the past couple of months about the measures adopted by the European Commission as a result of the Russian ban on imports of fruit and vegetables from the EU. During the last of couple of those discussions, I sought views on the optional element of the latest measure that allows Member States to introduce measures to remove a maximum of 3,000 tonnes of specific products from the market. I am writing to confirm that Ministers have decided not to implement this option in the UK.


In making this decision, Ministers considered the representations made in favour of implementing an optional measure. However, they were also mindful of the fact that the main focus of the latest EU measures is on those Member States that previously exported to Russia. This should help avoid wider impacts on the EU market. By comparison, an optional measure of only 3,000 tonnes is likely to have minimal market impact, particularly if spread thinly across a number of different sectors. Against that background, Ministers do not believe that destroying edible UK produce would be an acceptable use of public money. However, they will continue to press the Commission to monitor the market and take targeted measures where necessary, with a particular focus on EU promotion activity and obtaining access to alternative markets.


I realise that this decision will come as a disappointment, but I hope this letter helps to explain the thinking behind it.

 

The letter is signed by John O'Gorman who can be contacted on +44 (0)207 238 3038 or e-mail: John.O’Gorman@defra.gsi.gov.uk