Apple producers to receive state aid due to epidemic

Ljubljana – The government granted on Thursday state aid to apple producers, whose revenue is said to be strongly affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Each producer will receive EUR 2,000 per hectare of their apple orchards.

A total of 491 apple producers are expected to receive EUR 4.06 million, the Government Communication office said in a press release.

The government intents to help producers after calculations have shown their revenue dropped by at least 30% last year compared to the 2017-2019 average.

Apple producers have been unable to sell their supplies of apples because of the closure of the hospitality sectors, catering services and lower sales in stores.

They also had additional costs with purchasing protective equipment and coronavirus tests, restrictions to working hours, and storage of apples.

The producers producing 30-40 tonnes of apples per hectare have been estimated to have recorded a 39-60% drop in revenue. The average producer produced 31.6 tonnes of apples a hectare in 2020.

All registered apple producers with more than 0.5 hectares of orchards and no liabilities to the state will be eligible for aid.

The aid has been approved in line with the European Commission’s temporary easing of the framework governing state aid.