Ensuring food security and an effective food supply chain across the continent remains one of the Commission’s priorities.
Following the outbreak of coronavirus, the European Union’s agri-food sector is showing its resilience and continues to provide Europeans with high quality and safe food. Nonetheless, farmers and producers are facing difficulties and increasing pressure.
The Commission keeps monitoring closely all agricultural markets and trade of food products, with the EU market observatories being regularly updated.
Measures adopted by the Commission to support the agri-food sector
- Extension of the deadline for CAP payment applications
The new deadline for applications will now be 15 June 2020, instead of 15 May, allowing more flexibility for farmers to fill in their applications in these difficult and unparalleled times. The extension has already been communicated for Italy and the Commission is working on the legal steps to implement it for all Member States.
- Increased state aid:
Under the newly adopted Temporary Framework for state aid, farmers can now benefit from a maximum aid of €100,000 per farm and food processing and marketing companies can benefit from a maximum of €800,000. This amount can be topped up by de minimis aid, a type of national support specific to the agricultural sector that can be granted without prior approval from the Commission. Recently the ceiling of this aid was increased to €20,000 (and up to €25,000 in specific cases). This means that the total national support that can be granted per farm adds up to €120,000 (or €125,000) under the temporary framework.
- Continuous flow of food products across the EU
The Commission is coordinating closely with Member States to ensure a functioning single market for goods by creating “Green Lanes”. These green lanes, based on designated key border crossing-points, will have border crossing checks that will not exceed 15 minutes. Passage is now granted for all goods, including agri-food products.
European Commission Communication on the implementation of the Green Lanes of the Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services