UK-COVID-19 crisis/Fruit and vegetables freight flows impacted
Dear President Von der Leyen,
FruitVegetablesEUROPE, the European Fruit and Vegetables Association, is writing to you to express its deep concern regarding the COVID-19 crisis and the shutdown of travel between the United Kingdom and the EU, which is creating chaos on the road transport for perishable food, particularly on fresh fruit and vegetables.
Most EU countries have imposed bans on travel from the UK, including goods moving freight (France), over concerns about a new more infectious strain of the coronavirus. EU fruits and vegetables freight flows to/from UK are already being affected. Thousands of truck drivers are stuck in the U.K. as massive traffic jams grow on the approaches to the country’s big ports. Furthermore, transport companies will hesitate to send trucks and drivers to the U.K. without knowing they can return to the EU immediately after delivering their goods.
About 10,000 trucks pass through the English Channel daily, mostly carrying fresh foods from Southern Europe. FruitVegetablesEUROPE considers that the EU and Members States must take exceptional measures to guarantee that fresh food continue to flow in the EU internal market and to the UK. This is the only way to prevent shortages of fresh food, particularly fresh fruit and vegetables. Nevertheless, these kinds of measures will be effective only if they are coordinated at European level.
FruitVegetablesEUROPE calls on the European Commission to an urgent EU integrated crisis response to maintain supplies of fresh produce to UK. Furthermore, we consider as a priority to establish a “green corridor” that will allow the return of truck drivers into EU ports and allow the movement of fresh goods.
We reiterate that the response to this global sanitary, social and economic crisis should be European. So, …..
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