EU to cover losses of Lithuanian fruit and vegetable growers

“Now the principles have been set: support will be provided for perishable products which are difficult to sell. Specific issues will be discussed at the Management Committee on Friday. Today we only know the principles,” Rimantas Krasuckis, a senior official at the Lithuanian Agriculture Ministry, told BNS on Tuesday.

The Commission on Monday announced exceptional support measures for fruit and vegetable products growers in the EU which are in full harvesting season with no immediate alternative market available. Lithuania and Poland will be among the first countries to receive such assistance.

“From what we can understand from the statement, there should be support for fixed losses, that is, specific quantities of products that remained unsold or were given away for charity. The money comes from the crisis management fund,” Krasuckis said.

In early August, Moscow announced a one-year embargo on meat, vegetable and fruit, milk and milk product imports from the EU, US and some other countries that supported sanctions against Russia over its policies in Ukraine.

It is estimated that Lithuania’s four largest dairy producers – Pieno Žvaigždės, Žemaitijos Pienas, Rokiškio Sūris and Vilkyškių Pieninė – stand to lose around 20 million litas (EUR 5.8m) in revenues monthly due to the sanctions. However, all of them have said that this would not force them to go bankrupt.

The country’s fruit and vegetable growers are also incurring losses, with carrot growers alone set to lose 15 million litas.

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