Contact group on tomatoes to meet in Ragusa

Massimo Pavan, Venetian entrepreneur firmly rooted in Sicily, has been appointed as coordinator of OI Pomodoro.

The next meeting of the tomato contact group will take place in Ragusa on 4th and 5th April. The Spanish, French and Italian delegations will take part. The event was organized by OP Villaverde and its president Carmelo Firrincieli.

The first day will be dedicated to technical visits, while the second will focus on discussing a few main topics: an analysis of the 2018/19 campaign, phytosanitary issues from Tuta absoluta to the New Delhi virus and the export and import procedures to and from extra-EU countries. Of course this will be the hottest topic.

"None of the members of the contact group is happy about the infamous Euro-Moroccan agreements, especially since the duties applied are insufficient to safeguard our tomatoes. Customs tariffs currently applied can work for round tomatoes but not for smaller ones, which have higher production costs. Duties should have been in line with production costs."

"For example, if the production cost for round tomatoes in Europe is of €0.70/kg, while it is €0.40/kg in Morocco, the duty should be €0.30/kg. Of course, however, the same tariff would not work for cherry tomatoes, as the production cost is €1.00/kg. We need to insist for Brussels to implement different duties according to different costs."

"We are not saying the agreements should be amended, but they should be at least revised so they can be fair."

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