Brussels, 11 October 2012
Europe approves allocations of € 500 million of Food for the Most Deprived programme for 2013
The allocation of EU funds for the 2013 Food for the Most Deprived programme was voted through the Single CMO Management Committee today. It is expected that more than 18 million people in 19 EU Member States will benefit from the € 500 million budget available for the most deprived. This will be the last year that the scheme will run in this form, funded from the CAP. New proposals for a broader, more flexible scheme, more closely linked to social cohesion policy, are due to be presented later this month under the responsibility of EU Social Affairs Commissioner Laszlo Andor.
"We can be proud of what this scheme has achieved over the years, but now is the time to think of how best to continue responding to the needs of the most deprived in future", EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloș stated today.
"We believe this is an important policy for the EU, especially in this time of economic difficulty, and some 18 million people are expected to benefit from the scheme next year. This is why the Commission has proposed to reserve a budget of €2.5bn for a successor to this scheme to help the most deprived in its 2014-2020 budget proposal. Since it fits more appropriately with the EU’s poverty reduction targets, this financing is foreseen under social-cohesion policy (heading 1) rather than the CAP. Commissioner Andor will be coming forward shortly with proposals for the new scheme after 2013.”
The EU’s “Food Distribution programme for the Most Deprived Persons of the Community” has been in place since December 1987, when the Council adopted the rules for releasing public intervention stocks of agricultural products to Member States wishing to use them as food aid for the most deprived persons in the EU. Over the years, the scheme has become an important source of provisions for organisations working in direct contact with the least fortunate people in our society. It is estimated that more than 18 million people each year benefit from the food aid distributed through the scheme.
Successive reforms have led to a much more market-oriented Common Agricultural Policy, with much lower levels of intervention stocks. As a result the scheme was finally revised in 2012 (after a long battle in Council), including the introduction of nutritional considerations measures to make it easier to access products from the open market – to the extent that canned fruit & vegetables, tinned beef and canned tuna can now be included. Indeed, under the 2013 Programme, there are virtually no stocks that will be sourced from public intervention stores.
As regards the future of the scheme, in its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2014-2020, the Commission has proposed to provide a budget of €2.5 billion for the 7 year period to continue financing EU assistance for the most deprived under Heading I of the EU budget, where it fits more appropriately with the poverty reduction target of the Europe 2020 strategy. The Commission is currently drafting concrete proposals for shaping the future programme within the social cohesion policy framework, due for publication on October 23.
ANNUAL DISTRIBUTION PLAN FOR 2013
Total financial resources broken down by Member State (in EUR)