Author: Ron van der Ploeg
MADRID, Spain: Spanish agriculture minister Luis Planas announces a range of measures to support the country’s ornamentals sector as well as a nation-wide campaign to tempt consumers to buy flowers and plants more often.
Planas made his remarks on 1 October when he opened Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect via a video link. Fruit Attraction is the international trade show for the global fruit and vegetable industry which annually takes place in Madrid. Due to the significant increase in the global spread of Covid-19, the organisers of the event decided to move the show to a digital format: a new and advanced technological platform that will be operational until 31 October.
Planas recalled how Spain’s ornamental horticulture sector is among one of the hardest hit sectors from coronavirus. He highlighted the sector’s substantial contribution to the national economy, stressing that Spain’s gardening industry deserves all the support it needs.
His words come six months after industry body FEPEX sounded alarm over Covid-19, asking for a set of measures, including a request to the EU for a postponement of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)’s administration procedures to relieve growers stricken by the COVID-19 emergency, a bailout by the Spain’s financial agency Instito de Crédito Official (ICO), and inclusion of the sector in the category of businesses that provide essential goods and services.
Planas explained that since March, the height of the coronavirus outbreak market conditions significantly improved, adding that being granted the ‘essential business status’ is no longer a top priority while sector specific aid genuinely matters.
Spain’s ornamental horticulture industry represents 3.2 per cent of the country’s final plant production and occupies a production area of approximately 4,500 ha, with a production value of more than 1,000 million euros. Among the country’s major flower producing areas are Andalusia, Valencia, Catalonia, the Canary Islands, Galicia, Aragon and Murcia.
With the kind collaboration of Spain’s leading horticultural media outlet Guía Verde.