“The European market does not need apples from Moldova”
The French Apple Pear Association (ANPP) and the French Federation of Fruit Producers (FNPF) have spoken out on the European Commission’s draft regulation to increase duty-free fruit and vegetable imports from Moldova in Europe. At first glance, the intention seems laudable (support for the Moldovan economy affected by the war in Ukraine), but the ANPP and the FNPF warn of a potential destabilization of European markets, and the apple market in particular.
According to this proposal for a regulation presented by the European Commission, the quantities of plums, table grapes, apples, tomatoes, cherries, garlic and grape juice exempt from customs duties to enter the European Union are expected to double within a year. According to the European Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovkis, this easier access to the European market for these agricultural products should help Moldova to “redirect its trade flows affected by the war”.
The ANPP and the FNPF warn the French Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty as well as the European Commission about the risk of this flow diversion. The European apple market in particular is not very stable and could be greatly destabilized in its “table apple” and “dessert apple” segments, even with low entry flows. Indeed, European countries like Poland are already penalized by the closure of the Russian market and will probably redirect their goods to the west. Besides, French apples don’t need more competitors. They are already suffering from competition, soaring production costs and real difficulties in conquering export markets.
The ANPP and the FNPF call for close monitoring of the markets, and strict respect for the provisional nature of this measure. More broadly, this measure reinforces the need to identify the origin of agricultural products for the end consumer, regardless of the method and form of marketing the apples (catering, compotes, etc.). French production conditions are indeed based on agro-ecology, and the French constraints and standards that our arboriculturists strive to respect are not comparable to Moldovan standards. Consumers must absolutely be informed.
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