Despite Russia, surplus food not getting to food banks
Now that the EU aid scheme for European farmers have been scrapped, whatever surplus farmers have left over from their harvests of fruits and vegetables is not being sent to food banks, Food Banks Netherlands tells BNR. Because of the Russian boycott, which Russia instated last Summer in response to the European sanctions, farmers are still producing a surplus of food. The EU subsequently compensated farmers with aid, but stopped this on the 10th of September due to the suspicion that some farmers were making dubious subsidy claims. Pien de Ruig of Food Banks Netherlands tells BNR that food banks had high expectations, but that nothing is coming in at the moment. "The week in which the ruling was made, we did indeed get nice apples and pears, we also got peppers and tomatoes, but since that intervention ruling was scrapped on the 10th of September, it went silent." Maarten Leesman of Agriculture and Horticulture organization LTO confirms that the farmers are being withholding after the intervention ruling. "We are sympathetic towards it. We stimulate our producers: offer it to the food banks. But yeah, if it isn't met with a subsidy, the producer won't readily opt for that. Then he'll bide his time." Leesman says that many farmers are either simply not harvesting their surplus, or keep it cooled, awaiting better times.