The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily disrupted the EU Flower and Live Plants market since early March 2020. In an unprecedented exercise, four organisations representing the sector in the EU mobilised their member organisations to measure the exact impact of COVID-19 on the sector during the peak of the crisis in March and April 2020.
This unique Survey Report by UNION FLEURS, ENA, AREFLH and COPA-COGECA provides a first measurement of the actual economic impact of COVID-19 on the EU flower & live plants sector. Losses reported for the sector across the EU reached an estimated total of 4.12 billion EUR in March and April 2020 in 17 EU countries across the 4 sub-sectors (cut flowers, pot plants, bulbs and nursery stock), accounting for close to 10% of the annual total EU market value.
This first estimate clearly demonstrates the brutal impact that the pandemic and lockdown measures implemented across the EU have had on the sector during the peak of the Spring season. These losses will never be recovered and will have to be absorbed by the thousands of companies of the flower & live plants sector in the EU. Coupled with the lack of a uniform and coordinated response so far by national governments across the EU, this further reinforces the need for a more meaningful and direct EU financial support to the sector.
The 4 organisations have brought this strong message to the European Commission’s DG AGRICULTURE during a meeting with the Deputy Director General last week. Building on the key takeaways from the Survey Report, the sector representatives stressed how the absence so far of financial support at EU level has not ensured the best conditions for the viability of production and market structures across the EU going forward.
“As the market situation is overall far from being yet normalised despite a re-start of activities in most EU countries since May, perspectives remain uncertain for the sector across the EU. Coordinated financial support at EU level continues to be actively called for, also to preserve the integrity of the EU Single Market and secure a fair operating environment across the EU without risking any distortions of competition on the market”, the sector representatives urged.