FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
The aim of the reform of EU Common Market Organization (CMO) for Fruits and Vegetables was to bring the sector in line with other agricultural sectors that were reformed under the he policy changes in the context of the CMO reform for fruit and vegetables were incorporated in the single CMO by Council Regulation 361/2008. The old-style production-linked payments have been replaced by decoupled payments. The shift from production support to direct aid to producers was designed to improve the competitiveness, market orientation, and sustainability of the sector.
Producer Organizations (PO's) are the key elements in the EU's CMO for fruit and vegetables. PO's can be recognized for marketing products falling within the following categories: fruit, vegetables, products intending for processing, citrus, nuts, and mushrooms. EU subsidies are not paid to individual producers but are channeled through PO's. In order to qualify for EU subsidies, PO's must submit an operational program financed by an operational fund. The EU's financial contribution is paid directly into the PO's operational fund.
Commission Regulation 1580/2007 lays down rules for the implementation of the reform and it was last modified by Commission Regulation 687/2010 at the end of July 2010. Regulation 687/2010 on new EU rules for aid to fruit and vegetable POs introduces a list of fixed co-efficients to calculate the Value of the Marketed Production (VMP) of POs. For example, the new rules stipulate that 73 percent of the final "invoiced value" of concentrated fruit juices for example should be used when calculating the VMP of POs, i.e. a co-efficient of 73 percent.
EU support to POs is calculated as a percentage of the VMP. A lack of clarity around the term “first stage processing” resulted in different definitions used by POs to calculate their VMP. Some POs included the value of marketing, processing, and packaging of the final produce in their definition of the VMP.
The co-efficients should remove distortions between processed products marketed through POs and those sold by private companies while providing greater legal certainty by addressing the lack of clarity around the term “first stage processing”. The new rules will not apply to running operational programs - decided for a fixed period - but only to new programs.
Imports into the EU of fresh fruit and vegetables are checked for compliance with EU-harmonized marketing standards. These standards apply at all marketing stages and include criteria such as quality, size, labeling, packaging and presentation.
For more information see GAIN report E48001.
A key objective of the reform of the Fruit and Vegetable regime was to reverse the declining consumption of fruit and vegetables. The European School Fruit Scheme is one measure to combat child obesity.
is laying down the rules for applying Council Regulation 1234/2007 as regards Community aid for supplying fruit and vegetables, processed fruit and vegetables and banana products to children in educational establishments, in the framework of a School Fruit Scheme. All schemes would consequently include three elements: free distribution of fruit and vegetables in schools, a series of accompanying measures such as information campaigns on healthy eating habits, and monitoring and evaluation. The scheme aims to provide fruit and vegetables to school children from the start of the school year.
The scheme makes €90 million of EU funds available to provide fruit and vegetables to school children to be matched by national and private funds. The system will be reviewed after 3 year. The scheme began at the start of the 2009/2010 school year. Besides Finland and Sweden, 25 of the 27 Member States have opted to participate in the second year of the scheme. The main beneficiaries of the scheme according to the definitive allocation of Community financing for the 2010/2011 school year are Italy (€21 million), Germany (€10 million), Romania (€9.6 million) and Poland (€9.2 million). The SFS also requires participating Member States to engage in educational and awareness-raising initiatives on healthy eating, as well as the sharing of best practices.
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