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_ Romanian farmers to start protests on April 7
Romanian farmers to start protests on April 7
"We resort to this extreme form of manifestation of the deep dissatisfaction and disappointment of Romanian farmers with the European Commission's solution to the serious problems and imbalances faced by the agri-food sector in Romania amidst market distortions caused by the armed conflict in Ukraine. The complete elimination of customs duties on all goods from Ukraine since the middle of last year has exported, commercially, the effects of the war to neighbouring countries through an involuntary dumping effect, as it has encouraged Ukrainian farmers to sell below cost as goods flows were forced. This approach will not help them resume their production cycle in the case of an escalation of input expenses, but it has very strongly disrupted the Romanian market," according to an AAC press statement released on Friday.
AAC says that they have taken numerous steps to draw attention, since the beginning of the war, to some serious distortions of the domestic market for cereals and oilseed crops, namely a significant erosion in the competitiveness of domestic agricultural producers as a result of the liberalisation of trade in agricultural goods with Ukraine; the collapse of domestic prices and the induction of their very high volatilities as a result of additional volumes of goods from Ukraine; enormous pressure on an already deficient transport logistics in Romania, which led to a 4-5 times increase in transport tariffs, handling, freight, to a shortage of means of transport (trucks, railcars, barges), to a surge in insurance charges.
There is also pressure on storage logistics, with farm warehouses still currently full of untraded local agricultural produce, just two months before the new harvest, due to the local market being hampered by massive import of grain and oilseed crops from Ukraine.
Romanian farmers are dissatisfied with the "tiny, arbitrary and discriminatory allocation" of some funds from the European Union's crisis reserve, less than 18 percent of the total amount trained - when, in fact, Romania has served as a logistics hub and facilitated the transit for about 60% of the volumes of agricultural produce coming out of Ukraine.
Given the circumstances, AAC member organisations have agreed to start protests with the following grievances to the national and European authorities that should be immediately met to protect Romanian farmers: separating the flows of agricultural goods at Romanian customs against origin, while respecting the transit lanes intended for Ukraine and ensuring the traceability of imports through strict quality control and avoiding ambiguities related to the origin of agricultural goods.
AAC also demands the "urgent activation of the safeguard measures (suspension of tariff concessions)" granted by Regulation (EU) 2022/870 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2022 and the return to basic customs tarrifs.
They also request strict calculation of the damage sustained by Romanian farmers and the identification of alternative sources of European financing from which to be compensated based on a fair distribution mechanism for the entire duration of the application of the measures to suspend import customs duties for trade with Ukraine.
The Alliance for Agriculture and Co-operation brings together four agricultural trade organisations - LAPAR, the PRO AGRO National Federation, UNCSV and the APPR Forum.
The four professional organisations in agriculture, food industry and related services gather approximately 3,500 farmers.
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