The European Commission relaxes access to aid for winegrowers and fruit and vegetable producer organizations affected by drought

Aug 10, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) has published two implementing regulations establishing measures in the fruit and vegetable and wine sectors to address specific problems caused by adverse climatic events during the spring of 2023.

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European Commission

These regulations relax certain demands and requirements of the Community regulations for the collection of aid and the use of vineyard authorizations.

These flexibilities were requested by Spain to the European Commission (EC) last April, after the impossibility for wine growers and fruit and vegetable producer organizations (FVPOs) to comply with some of the requirements due to the drought situation.

In the case of FVPOs, the regulations allow them to resort to third-party production to meet their supply commitments in a higher volume than their own production. This possibility is very important because it will prevent the organizations from losing clients due to a drop in their members’ production as a result of drought or other climatic adversities.

The regulations also remove restrictions on the use of funds for crisis prevention and management measures, and increase the level of EU funding to 60%, from the normal 50%.

As regards the wine sector, for the vineyard restructuring and reconversion measure, the EC is responding to Spain’s request to make the requirements for the transition between the Wine Sector Support Program (PASVE) and the Wine Sector Intervention of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strategic plan, which came into force this year, more flexible. This will prevent winegrowers who have not been able to undertake replanting actions this spring from losing their right to do so since a deadline is provided to carry them out until next year.

In addition, the validity of vineyard planting authorizations that have expired or expire in 2023 is extended for an additional 12 months so that they can be used in the following campaign. Holders who do not wish to benefit from this extension will be able to renounce their authorizations without being penalized.

Spain has participated very actively in the development of these regulations after the EC responded with the utmost sensitivity to requests to address the harsh drought and effects of other climatic adversities.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is working on the national regulatory development of the texts that will enable the application in Spain of these flexibilities, which are expected to be processed and published in early autumn.