28 April 2020 News

Coronavirus: European Commission proposes a new package of measures to support the agri-food sector

On April 22, 2020, the European Commission announced a new package of measures to support the agri-food sectors which are most affected by Covid-19 crisis and to assure stable food supply and food security.

These exceptional measures should provide stability to future prices and production, by addressing market disturbances as well as future risks. In particular, the new package proposes:

  • To grant private storage aid for dairy (skimmed milk powder, butter, cheese) and meat (beef, sheep and goat meat) products.

This scheme will allow the temporary withdrawal of products from the market for a minimum of 2 to 3 months, and a maximum period of 5 to 6 months. The decrease of available supply on the market should help rebalance the market on the long-term.

This will allow the reorientation of funding priorities towards crisis management measures for all the interested sectors.

  • To introduce exceptional derogation from EU competition rules for milk, flowers and potatoes sectors, under Article 222 of the Common Markets Organisation (CMO) Regulation, that allows operators to adopt self-organisation market measures.

Concretely, these sectors will be allowed to collectively take measures to stabilise the market, like planning production or withdraw products from the market. Storage by private operators will also be allowed. Such agreements and decisions would only be valid for a period of maximum six months.

The Commission aims to have these measures adopted by the end of April. Nevertheless, they are subject to change since Member States need to be consulted and to vote them.

This package follows a comprehensive package of other measures adopted early this month by the Commission to support the agri-food sector in the current crisis. Read our article for more information on previous measures: Coronavirus: the EU is adopting measure to support the agri-food sector.   

For more information on European Commission measures to support the agriculture and food sectors, consult the following link: Supporting the agriculture and food sectors amid Coronavirus