` Spain Requests More EU Support for Olive Oil Producers - Olive Oil Times

Spain Requests More EU Support for Olive Oil Producers

May. 26, 2020
Costas Vasilopoulos

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After the com­ple­tion of the pri­vate stor­age aid scheme that resulted in more than one-quar­ter of European Union olive oil stocks being with­drawn from the mar­ket, the sec­tor remains in limbo with the antic­i­pated recov­ery of prices being slowed down by the COVID-19 pan­demic.

The olive oil mar­ket has gone through a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion since the sum­mer of 2019,” a European Commission spokesper­son told Olive Oil Times. Although to a lesser extent than for other agri­cul­tural sec­tors, the COVID-19 pan­demic impacts the olive oil sec­tor and does not help it recover quickly from the dif­fi­cult mar­ket sit­u­a­tion of recent months.”

Regarding olive oil, the European Commission must adopt con­crete mea­sures in the short term as a sup­port pro­gram for the sec­tor to reg­u­late its pro­duc­tion.- Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fish and Food

Overall, the mar­ket has not expe­ri­enced a major shock from the pan­demic and mar­ket prices have sta­bi­lized, how­ever, they are still at low lev­els,” the spokesper­son added.

Spanish Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas teleconferencing with E.U. counterparts

Intra‑E.U. olive oil trade was severely hin­dered at first by the pan­demic. However, mea­sures includ­ing the green lanes’ were intro­duced to smooth out the sit­u­a­tion. The adop­tion of spe­cific guide­lines for bor­der checks to pro­tect health as well as to keep goods and essen­tial ser­vices avail­able also helped.

See Also: COVID-19 Updates

Since then, the sit­u­a­tion has sig­nif­i­cantly improved in all mem­ber states,” the Commission offi­cial said.

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Furthermore, inter­na­tional ship­ments of European olive oil have not been impacted much, whereas the release of the pri­vately stored quan­tity of olive oil is sched­uled to take place between June and September of 2020, at the ear­li­est.

In order to pre­vent sim­i­lar phe­nom­ena of olive oil sur­pluses in the future, Spain has requested that olive oil is included in the Common Market Organization (CMO) Regulation, which allows for plan­ning ahead of pro­duc­tion and leaves room for mar­ket manip­u­la­tion.

Regarding olive oil, the European Commission must adopt con­crete mea­sures in the short term as a sup­port pro­gram for the sec­tor to reg­u­late its pro­duc­tion,” the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fish and Food said in a state­ment.

The pur­pose of the CMO is to pro­vide the frame­work for con­stant pro­duc­tion and sup­ply of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts by employ­ing pub­lic inter­ven­tion and mar­ket tools to over­come mar­ket dis­tur­bances caused by fac­tors such as price fluc­tu­a­tions or the spread of an ani­mal dis­ease. The CMO is also meant to secure the income of grow­ers and pro­duc­ers.

European agri­cul­tural prod­ucts cur­rently ben­e­fit­ing from the CMO reg­u­la­tion are dairy prod­ucts, wine, seeds, sugar, fruits and veg­eta­bles, among oth­ers.

Triggered by the adop­tion on April 30, 2020, of the lat­est excep­tional mea­sures to sup­port the agri­cul­tural and food sec­tors most affected by the COVID-19 cri­sis, Spain has requested to include the olive oil sec­tor in the list of sec­tors ben­e­fit­ing from a tem­po­rary autho­riza­tion to dero­gate from cer­tain E.U. com­pe­ti­tion rules pur­suant to Article 222 of the Common Market Organization Regulation,” the Commission spokesper­son said.

Article 222 of the CMO spec­i­fies that in peri­ods of severe mar­ket imbal­ances, the Commission can apply excep­tional mea­sures, includ­ing the with­drawal or free dis­tri­b­u­tion of prod­ucts, pro­mo­tional actions, pri­vate stor­age aid and tem­po­rary plan­ning of pro­duc­tion.

Furthermore, Spain has requested that the Article 167 of the CMO reg­u­la­tion, which allows for the intro­duc­tion of mar­ket­ing rules to improve and sta­bi­lize the oper­a­tion of the com­mon mar­ket specif­i­cally in wines, is mod­i­fied to be applic­a­ble on the olive oil sec­tor as well, and asked that more funds are chan­neled to sup­port the sec­tor.

Spain is work­ing to use the wine sec­tor sup­port pro­gram to launch aid for cri­sis dis­til­la­tion, pri­vate stor­age and green har­vest­ing, but requests that com­mu­nity funds be increased,” the min­istry said.





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