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 21 apr 2022 19:40 

EC supports investments in distribution centres for fruits and vegetables Croatia

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Croatian scheme with a total budget of 54 million (HRK 407 million) to support investments in logistics and distribution centres for fruits and vegetables.

The scheme will be funded through the Recovery and Resilience Facility ('RRF'), following the Commission's positive assessment of Croatia's Recovery and Resilience Plan and its adoption by the Council. The aim of the scheme is to support producer organisations in the fruit and vegetables sector to invest in building and equipping logistics and distribution centres, which will improve the competitiveness of the sector. The improvements to the logistics infrastructure will strengthen the fruit and vegetables value chain, and by that contribute to the development of higher value-added products. Under the scheme, the support will take the form of direct grants. The scheme will run until 30 June 2026. The Commission assessed the scheme under the EU State aid rules, and in particular under the Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas and Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities under certain conditions. The Commission found that the scheme is necessary and appropriate to raise the productivity of the fruit and vegetables sector. Furthermore, the Commission found that the measure is proportionate and that any negative effects on competition and trade in the EU will be limited in view of the size of the projects, the aid amounts and the characteristics of the sectors. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. The Commission assesses measures entailing State aid contained in the national recovery plans presented in the context of the RRF as a matter of priority and has provided guidance and support to Member States in the preparatory phases of the national plans, to facilitate the rapid deployment of the RRF. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.101504 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.


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