15 JUN 2011
By Andrew Willis
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU member states have agreed on a €210 million compensation package for farmers whose sales have suffered as a result of the E. coli outbreak in northern Germany.
The deal in Brussels on Tuesday (14 June) will allow the European Commission to pay producers for cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, courgettes, and sweet peppers that have been withdrawn from the market since 26 May.
Spain, France, Poland and Slovakia voted against the package, insisting that the EU should provide more aid for farmers producing a wider range of fresh vegetables.
The decision foresees paying a maximum rate of 50 percent of the usual producer price in June, although a final figure will only be confirmed on 22 July once member states confirm the volumes that will be covered.
EU farm chief Dacian Ciolos welcomed the deal, saying it underlined the need for interventionist tools in the bloc's common agricultural policy (CAP).
"This crisis again highlights that the market alone is not sufficient for something as strategically important as agriculture. These are elements that we must bear in mind when it comes to fixing the rules and the budget for the CAP after 2013."
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