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Brussels, 10 March 2010

State aid: the European Commission approves the aid granted to Farm Dairy Flevoland in the Netherlands

The European Commission has today decided that the aid granted in 1999 by the Dutch Province Flevoland to the undertaking Farm Dairy Flevoland is compatible with the State aid rules which applied when the aid was granted. The aid amounts to € 715 000.

The aid had been granted by the Province Flevoland as investment aid to the undertaking Farm Dairy Flevoland, located in Lelystad, which specialises in the production of bottled milk, yoghurts and other milk-based desserts.

On 26 November 2008, the Commission initiated the procedure provided for in Article 108 TFEU (see IP/08/1778 ) as it had doubts as to the compatibility of these measures with the applicable State aid rules, in particular the rules for investments concerning the processing and marketing of agricultural products, which do not allow for investment aid for milk products unless there is substantial innovation in the investment. The comments received from third parties and the Netherlands have reported a substantial innovation as regards the part of the investment linked to the marketing of 2-litre milk bottles. The Commission has evaluated the information received and has concluded that Farm Dairy was indeed the first undertaking to produce this type of product on the Dutch market and that it used innovative technology for this product.

The Commission therefore isolated the costs relating to the innovative part of the investment and applied the maximum intensity of 75% provided for in the rules which applied when the aid was unlawfully granted. On the basis of this calculation, the amount originally granted for the whole investment was below the maximum amount which could be granted for the innovative part of the investment.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number C 45/08 in the State aid register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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