Spain’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, stressed that the Brexit agreement has meant avoiding customs duties on Spanish agri-food exports and the loss of market share.
Luis Planas made an official visit to Murcia, where he stressed that “everything is ready for exports to the United Kingdom (UK) to function normally”, thanks to the “significant efforts” made by the different public authorities and the sector. He stressed that the Brexit agreement has meant avoiding customs duties on Spanish agri-food exports and the loss of market share. These customs duties would have amounted to an outlay of some 950 million euros, almost one quarter of the 4 billion euros of annual exports from Spain to the UK.
In this regard, Luis Planas underlined that the government has worked to maintain the interests of our producers and exporters at all times, by supporting compliance with formalities (phytosanitary certificates will come into force on 1 April), the simplification of export operations and speeding up procedures at border inspection points.
Vitality, strength and competitiveness of sector
At a joint press briefing with the President of the Regional Government of Murcia, Fernando López Miras, Minister Planas highlighted the vitality, strength and competitiveness of the agri-food sector in Murcia, the spearhead for Spanish production and exports, mainly in the fruit and vegetable sector. He stressed that the products from Murcia are “a fundamental part of the market garden of Europe, namely Spain”.
He pointed out that Spanish agri-food exports amount to 55.4 billion euros (figures at the end of November 2020) and have experienced a year-on-year rise of 4.7% – “very significant growth considering the current pandemic situation”. Murcia accounts for more than 10% of these exports (5.6 billion), with average growth of 7.7% over the last 12 months.
The minister stressed that with a view to the application of the new Common Agricultural Policy, it is very important for producers in Murcia to maximise the possibilities offered by Organisations of Fruit and Vegetable Producers to receive European funds.
He also expressed his intention of proposing to the regional governments, at their upcoming meeting in May, that the fruit and vegetable sector should take decoupled subsidies for the first time.
As regards cut flowers and ornamental plants, his ministerial department is drawing up a specific programme to support “a sector that deserves recognition”, due to the difficult situation it has gone through in the health crisis.
Similarly, he stressed the significant possibilities offered to irrigation systems from the investments in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, with an allocation of 563 million euros to this end. He specified that the Region of Murcia has proposed 58 modernisation projects that could be financed under this line of support.
During his visit to Murcia, the minister visited the “Virgen del Milagro” desalination plant of the Community of Irrigators of Mazarrón, where he inspected the machinery and the photovoltaic plant. The minister then travelled to the town of Lorca, where he visited the installations of the Hoyamar cooperative society.