Agrifood news from around Europe
A fresh call has been made for British agricultural workers and crop pickers to help with the harvest as the soft fruit season rapidly approaches. Fruit picking in parts of the UK will reach a peak in summer ahead of the main season for vegetable harvesting in the autumn, but growers remain concerned that there will be a shortfall of seasonal workers. (Natasha Foote | EURACTIV.com)
French Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume has requested further assistance from Brussels to deal with the effects of the health crisis amidst concerns that the milk, meat and fruit and vegetable sectors cannot wait any longer. Read more here.
Croatia’s Labour and Pension System Minister, Josip Aladrović, said in an interview with the Croatian newspaper Večernji List that he does “not see a problem for the unemployed to engage in agriculture” and called for a more efficient labour policy in agriculture. Read more here. (Karla Juničić | EURACTIV.hr)
Germany’s Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner wants the Commission to take a more active role in market stabilisation during the coronavirus outbreak. In a joint press release from last Thursday (9 April), Klöckner and her French counterpart Didier Guillaume emphasised the EU’s crucial role in ensuring an uninterrupted food supply chain, calling the CAP “essential for a strong Europe in the future.” In particular, they advocated for simplified and more flexible regulations for inspection procedures as well as the opening private storage facilities for certain sectors. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)
In Austria, declining sales for dairy, beef and vegetable farmers, combined with decreases in tourism in the coming months, threaten the livelihoods of many farmers, according to Austrian Agriculture Minister Elisabeth Köstinger. To help avert some of the impacts of the crisis, she called on supermarket chains and consumers to buy more regional goods on Monday (13 April). To help encourage demand, part of her plan would allow for price rebates exclusively on Austrian-produced goods. For the economic recovery in Austrian agriculture, “a great deal will depend on us being able to close ranks with the food trade and consumers,” she warned. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)
In an opinion piece appeared on the daily Il Foglio, Italy’s Agriculture minister Teresa Bellanova has revived the debate over more than 600,000 irregular migrants working in the Italian farms. She said that it’s up to the government to regularise their stay in Italy, otherwise they will be exploited by criminal organisations. (Gerardo Fortuna | EURACTIV.com)
According to DNB Bank experts, prices of fresh food will increase in Poland soon due to problems caused by the coronavirus disease. The increase can reach 5-10 percent. Experts estimate that the reason for higher prices is the break-in global supply chains, lack of seasonal workers, rising production costs and economic protectionism. The agricultural, fruit and vegetable industry will suffer the most. (Mateusz Kucharczyk| EURACTIV.pl)