Written Question: Support for the expansion of production of Kozani saffron PDO

(Source: European Parliament)

Date Submitted: 2 May 2021

Question for written answer E-002383/2021

to the Commission

Rule 138

Emmanouil Fragkos (ECR)

Subject: Support for the expansion of production of Kozani saffron PDO     

Kozani saffron PDO is grown only in 16 Kozani villages because of the soil and weather conditions, and the cultivation, harvesting and drying procedures make its production particularly demanding. As it is a lucrative crop, more young Greek farmers are deciding to engage in producing it (in comparison with other crops) and to remain in the countryside.

Scientists recognise its considerable nutritional value as a beverage as well as in cooking, while in some States, such as China, it is used as a medicine. The FAO notes that there is a significant margin for marketing and maximising the profits of farmers as a percentage of the final price, including through the vertical integration of production.

Unfortunately, the constant changes to taxation frameworks in Greece and the turbulence on the international market, because of the (often illegal) trade by Iran and Afghanistan, pose additional challenges for farmers. In 2020 Greek exports reached 2.6% of the international saffron market (with the EU accounting for a third), amounting to an impressive annual increase of 33%.

In light of the above:

1. As tools are available within the CAP to develop production of saffron, which of these are used more widely by farmers in Kozani and which are used less? In the Commission’s view, what difficulties hinder their use?

2. To what extent is use made of the possibilities for investing in tangible assets with the aim of improving the overall performance and the sustainability of holdings, founding a union or organisation of producers in the sector or other innovative cultivation systems?

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