The EU agri-sector hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic

The EU agri-sector hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic
A Dutch flower grower based in Kerry who was facing into having to dump a field of tulips in the compost heap because of the Covid-19 lockdown has instead donated bucket loads to nursing homes with gardai serving as her delivery drivers. Self confessed "flower fanatic" Jiska Healy lives outside the village of Lyracrumpane with her husband Maurice.

The EU’s flower and plants sector suffered financial losses estimated at €4.1 billion in six weeks, due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The negative impact was assessed for a report to the European Commission presented by Copa and Cogeca, the EU farmer and agricultural co-ops organisations; Union Fleurs; the European Nurserystock Association; and the Assembly of European Horticultural Regions (AREFLH).

Current market trends indicate tentative signs of partial recovery for certain sub-sectors such as gardening plants, but the general picture shows a sustained dip in economic activity.

The European Commission granted derogations from competition rules, but the flower and plants sector delegation said these are not sufficient to deliver any tangible financial relief to the flower and live plants sector.

The sector representatives said the Commission acknowledged that the sector has been one of the worst-hit in the EU by the Covid-19 crisis, and encouraged them to seek assistance at the national level, because the EU agriculture budget cannot be mobilised to provide direct support to any sector.

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