Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-10-25-Speech-3-313"

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"Madam President, Commissioner, the Commission’s proposal on fruit and vegetable policy is full of shortcomings and quite inadequate and I should like to highlight four aspects to demonstrate this. Firstly, the guarantee thresholds for different types of fruit and vegetable need to be raised with a view to harmonising the real production of the European Union and responding better to levels of demand. This is why I would particularly highlight the need for guarantee thresholds to be raised for tomatoes grown for processing in Portugal, which should at least approach the figure of 953 000 tonnes set at the Berlin Summit. Secondly, I wish to point out that the level of aid per tonne proposed by the Commission is quite inadequate. I think that what is needed is an increase of the kind proposed by the rapporteur. The truth is that the abolition of the minimum price, which is about to end, will result in a considerable reduction in prices paid for produce and we need to ensure that farmers’ incomes do not suffer as a result. Thirdly, the level of operational funds is also completely inadequate. In fact, as the rapporteur proposes, unless the level of financing the funds improves, we will not be able to improve the way in which producer groups work. Finally, I wish to say that the Commission has wasted a superb opportunity to make the CAP a little fairer. As the Commissioner knows, a sector that accounts for 16% of agricultural production only receives 4%, in fact less than 4%, of the budget. The European Union’s fruit and vegetable producers are at the moment basically living from their income from the market, in other words, from what they sell on the market. They suffer the risks and uncertainties inherent in the market and are pitted against fellow farmers in other countries, who produce other products such as cereals, oilseed, beef, milk and so forth, and whose income is guaranteed by the CAP, with no risk to themselves. Commissioner, we must put an end to this inconsistency within the CAP as soon as possible."@en1

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