The French Apple Pear Association (ANPP) and the French Federation of Fruit Producers (FNPF) have expressed themselves about the proposed regulation of the European Commission to increase fruit and vegetable imports from Moldova without duty in Europe. At first sight, the intention seems commendable (support of the Moldovan economy affected by the war in Ukraine), but ANPP and FNPF warn about a potential destabilization of the European markets, and the apple market in particular.
According to this proposed regulation presented by the European Commission, the quantities of plums, table grapes, apples, tomatoes, cherries, garlic and grape juice exempted from custom duties to enter the European Union should double within a year. According to the European commissioner for trade, Valdis Dombrovkis, this facilitated access to the European market for these agricultural products should help Moldova “redirect its trade flows affected by the war.”
ANPP and FNPF warn the French minister of agriculture and food sovereignty as well as the European Commission about the risk of this redirection of the flows. The European apple market in particular is barely stable and could really be destabilized on its “table apple” and “dessert apple” segments, even with low entry flows. Indeed, European countries such as Poland are already penalized by the closure of the Russian market and will probably redirect their merchandise to the west. Besides, French apples do not need more competitors. They already suffer from competition, soaring production costs and the real difficulties to conquer export markets.
ANPP and FNPF call for a close monitoring of the markets, and a strict respect of the provisional aspect of this measure. More broadly, this measure reinforces the need to identify the origin of agricultural products for the final consumer, regardless of the method and form of marketing of the apples (catering, compotes…). The French production conditions are indeed based on agro-ecology, and the French constraints and standards that our fruit growers strive to respect are not comparable to Moldovan standards. Consumers must absolutely be informed about this.