EU Farmers seek further compensation following E. coli outbreak

Posted by Josette Dunn on 23rd June 2011

European farmers federation Copa-Cogeca has supported MEP’s calls for greater funds to support producers following the E. coli outbreak in Europe.The federation on Tuesday (21 June) welcomed MEP calls to increase funds for EU fruit and vegetable producers hit by the E. coli crisis under the proposed EU compensation package and called for the Commission and farm minsters to act quickly. The announcement follows a debate in the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee.

“I am pleased that many MEPs supported our calls to increase funds in their meeting today, said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen.

“Fruit and vegetable growers have suffered greatly during this crisis, with losses estimated at EUR400m per week. We sent a letter to committee chairman Paolo de Castro outlining our demands and calling for producers to be 100% compensated for their losses. Although the Commission’s proposed rescue package of EUR210m is a good start, it will not be nearly enough to compensate producers for their huge losses. If other products have been affected and producers can prove this, they should also be compensated.”

The federation is also calling for promotional measures to be activated immediately, before Autumn, as it is currently the height of the season for fruit and vegetables, and it is “vital to act now to restore consumer confidence”.

“The timing of this crisis could not be worse for producers and if the EU does not act now, losses will be devastating, causing more growers to go out of business,” emphasised Pessonen.

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