The European Union’s Management Committee Tuesday approved an emergency aid package for fresh vegetable growers in Europe worth 210 million euro.
The money will be paid to producers for cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, courgettes, and sweet peppers that have been withdrawn from the European market since May 26 as a result of the E-coli outbreak in Germany.
The decision foresees paying a maximum rate of 50 percent of the usual producer price in June. The final figure will only be confirmed on July 22 once EU member states confirm the volumes that will be covered, said the European Commission in a statement.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos stated in press statements that “this is an important signal for fresh vegetable growers because I was very keen to show that Europe can react quickly when it needs to”.
Ciolos said that he is relieved that the source of the contamination has now been identified, and that consumers can now enjoy fresh vegetables in full confidence.
The E-coli bacteria killed 37 people mainly in Germany and infected 2,000 people in Europe.
German authorities claim that beansprouts from a farm in northern Germany are the source of the E-coli strain.