Bittersweet victory for the Banana de Canarias in Brussels, after weeks of uncertainty for the 15,000 families (up to 12,000 direct jobs) that live from this crop in the archipelago. The trilogue held today – the meeting of the representatives of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament to finish outlining the new CAP – has agreed to maintain the integrity of the so-called Community Support Program for Agricultural Productions (POSEI) during 2021 and 2022 compared to the 3.9% cut proposed by the European Commission of 10 million per year between 2021 and 2027. With the important nuance that half of the proposed cut – five million annually– It will be financed on account of the funds that will correspond to Spain in the next PAC (Common Agricultural Policy). Only in aid to agriculture, the Canary Islands receive 268 million euros annual subject to the production marketed by each producer.
From the Association of Organizations of Producers of Bananas of the Canary Islands (ASPROCAN) its president Domingo Martín has wanted to launch “A reassuring message” since the current level of POSEI is preserved: “The sector avoids crossing red lines of survival”, pointed out the representative of the producers who recalled that the update of this program is still pending since 2007.
For the popular MEP Gabriel Mato, member of the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament, it is “positive” that both the European Council and the Commission “have accepted the request of the European Parliament that the POSEI file should not be lowered.”
Mato has been more prudent about “the review in 2022” of these funds and announced that they will be vigilant so that the aid is maintained “It is important that the uniqueness of the Canary Islands has also been recognized and the need to continue to have a powerful POSEI ”, he argued.
The second leg in 2022
However, the head of the association that brings together the 8,000 banana producers, has clarified that the fact that half of the budget cut must be covered with funds from the CAP Spain, France and Portugal is “a blow to rights” constitutional ‘of RUP (Outermost Regions) recognized in the Treaty of the European Union (EU) ‘.
From the sector, they have been insisting in recent weeks on the fear that any reduction in aid will open the doors to their future dismantling and leave the banana without a protection net against the competition from bananas. Something that with this agreement should be reviewed in 2022. In this sense, Martín (ASPROCAN) has added that what was agreed in Brussels does not solve your situation in the long term in view of what he has called “the commercial policy of demolishing third country bananda”.
In this sense, Martín has pointed out that the approved mechanism “had never been applied in the agricultural policy of the European Union”, for which he has shown his confidence that the Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas take the necessary steps to mobilize the contribution, which will now correspond to the Spanish CAP “before its entry into force for January 1, 2021”.