The Russian embargo on apples and pears has taken its toll on the Limburg pip fruit sector, which lost 40% of its market in one fell swoop, while also coming up against stronger competition from other European Member States like Poland. The adverse weather conditions of the past four years have not helped either. The 2019 season saw poor pricing for apples and pears, with a 51% fall in apple prices and 43% drop in pear prices.
The region’s pip fruit sector has not stood still however. Two years ago, fourteen actors signed the ‘Flemish strategy for the pip fruit sector’, an action plan that focuses on profitability, quality and research and contains nineteen action points. Unfortunately, the implementation of this action plan has been difficult, not least due to a lack of consensus between the various partners. The sector is now calling for government action to assess what support measures have been given by the EU to the Limburg pip fruit growers since the Russian embargo and how pricing has been affected.