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"There hasn't been such a devastating frost in more than 40 years, production losses will be historic"

Catalonia's fruit and vegetable processing plants have been severely affected by the reduction in stone fruit production

70 to 85% of all Catalan stone fruit won't be harvested this summer, as well as 35 to 40% of the pear and 15 to 20% of the apple, according to the first estimates of the Fruit Business Association of Catalonia Afrucat. The final harvest forecasts will be made public within 15 days.

According to the director of AFRUCAT, Manel Simon, "there hasn't been such a devastating frost in more than 40 years and the production losses will be historic. 85% of the fruit trees are insured so producers will have a return, but the processing plants will only be able to reduce the variable costs derived from not processing the fruit."

According to estimates, 20 million to 30 million euro will be needed to cover the fixed costs incurred by the fruit companies in this campaign. Some of them will benefit from ERTE and others have even planned to close the plants during the summer fruit season.

The heads of the Fruit Business Association of Catalonia, an association integrated in FEPEX, met on Friday with the Minister of Climate Action, Food, and Rural Agenda, Teresa Jordà, to whom they presented a support model for the "non-flexible" fixed costs of the plants that should be materialized in aid by force majeure aimed at the plants with a production base.

"It is necessary to support the processing plants with a productive base so no one is left behind and to avoid the risk of closing companies," stated the president of Afrucat, Montse Baró



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