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Parliamentary questions
PDF 41kWORD 18k
1 October 2019
Question for written answer E-003055-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Mara Bizzotto (ID)

 Subject:  Italian fruit and vegetable production less competitive because of dumping through EU farm labour costs

Italy’s fruit and vegetable sector, comprising 346 000 businesses and the second biggest producer in the EU, saw exports fall dramatically in 2018, equating to a drop in terms of quantities of over 446 000 tonnes (down 11.2%) and financial losses of EUR 311 million (down 6.3%). Italian producers, including those belonging to the ‘Salviamo l'agricoltura italiana’ [Let’s save Italian farming] movement, point to the differences in labour costs in the EU’s fruit and vegetable sector as the cause of this sharp contraction in exports. Farm labour costs in Italy are high, accounting for up to 70% of the final price of its fruit and vegetable produce. As a result, compared to the countries that are its direct competitors, such as Greece, Spain, Poland and other East European countries, which have lower labour costs, Italy is losing out on sales penetration in EU and international markets. Italian farmers cannot even cover their production costs; they have no choice but to pay the higher production costs but must then sell their produce at prices that can compete with those of other countries. Italy’s fruit and vegetable sector is becoming constantly less competitive and this is placing the survival of thousands of farms and jobs on these farms in jeopardy.

1. Given the above, what urgent steps will the Commission take to cut dumping through farm labour costs among EU Member States?

2. How will it prop up employment levels and the revenue of Italian farmers?

Original language of question: IT 
Last updated: 18 October 2019Legal notice