More Latvian-grown produce to be available in shops

Non-governmental organisations of farmers and traders, as well as the Minister for Agriculture, signed a memorandum of cooperation in order to promote the increased availability of quality fruit, berries and vegetables produced in Latvia to consumers,  the Ministry of Agriculture said on July 6.

This will support Latvian fruit, berry and vegetable producers in overcoming the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Memorandum provides for cooperation between all parties involved in order to ensure a higher share of fruit, berries and vegetables produced in Latvia in trade.

Farmers' organisations will call on fruit, berry and vegetable producers to expand the cultivation of fruit, berries and vegetables and encourage agricultural co-operative societies to work with local vegetable producers, engage in the promotion of local fruit, berry and vegetable sale.

In the meantime, merchant organisations will support the promotion, distribution and increase in sales of products in their retail chains, strengthen cooperation with Latvian agricultural associations and increase the share of local fruit, berries and vegetables, so that local production  would make up the majority.

“The Memorandum will highlight the priority of selling Latvian-grown products in all Latvian retail shops, and this will be a serious support for Latvian vegetable, fruit and berry growers, as well as a clear signal for customers,» Noris Krūzītis, head of the Latvian food retailers association, said in a statement to the media.

The Ministry of Agriculture will provide the necessary talks to build even closer cooperation between producers and traders in the supply of local fruit, berries and vegetable products, as well as the implementation of the EU support program for supplying schools with fruit and vegetables.

In a statement to the media, Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards (National Alliance) stated that the Ministry would continue to work towards maintaining the reduced VAT rate on fruit, berries and vegetables, while in the coming years such reduced VAT rates would also apply to fresh meat, fish, eggs and milk.

The progress of the implementation of the Memorandum and the possibilities for further development of cooperation will be analysed at least every three months.

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