EU fruit and vegetable growers are a diverse group of farmers. Their products range from exotic tropical fruits to all varieties of cabbage. They also use many different types of production systems, ranging from small-sized traditional orchards to large plantations and greenhouses. Despite this diversity, fruit and vegetable growers all have to cope with some common issues: most of their products are fragile, quickly perishable and vulnerable to attack by extreme climate, diseases or pests, and their market is very unstable. EU support plays an important role in managing these challenges.
Within the EU, fruit and vegetable growers can join producer’ organisations that receive EU funds for partnerships. These can help to enhance their position vis-à-vis powerful retailers and to deal with risk management tools, such as insurance or mutual funds. If the market does not absorb the production, EU funds can also compensate fruit and vegetable growers for their unsold produce and withdrawn products can go to charities or public bodies. EU marketing standards, quality labels and promotion campaigns all work together to preserve and promote the quality of EU fruit and vegetables.
EU funds support initiatives and projects on nutrition and health that promote fruit and vegetable consumption. One such example is the EU-funded free distribution of fruit and vegetables to schools across the EU, which serves to teach children the benefits of healthy eating and to encourage them to eat more healthy food.
Eurostat statistical overview on ‘The fruit and vegetable sector in the EU’, www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/The_fruit_and_vegetable_sector_in_the_EU_-_a_statistical_overview
EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service: www.epthinktank.eu
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