The proposal for the National Strategic Plan, which is almost final, includes a joint heading for hops and table grapes; the plan provides for an allocation of 45 million euros for the establishment and re-engineering of hop farms, Secretary of State with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dragos-Costin Telehuz declared on Tuesday at a beer industry event titled „More than beer. From cereals to the glass – synergies and challenges”, according to Agerpres.
Regarding the production of barley for beer, the Agriculture official said that it cannot receive coupled support because this is not a sector at risk of disappearing or in a generalized crisis, like the plant protein sector. He argued that barley for beer brewing has certain particularities that make it less interesting, its „curse” being the fact that there is an alternative in plant production.
„Barley for beer is for medium-sized and large plant farms to grow. It would be of great help to have increased demand if, ideally, the Romanian beer industry became export competitive. But, just like in the case of wine, 90 percent of the output goes to the domestic market. (…) Yes, we will have to find ways to present barley for beer in the most favorable light to the farmers,” the Secretary of State said.
In the end, he explained that the beer sector cannot benefit from support against the effects of rising energy prices because „any such measure is considered state aid and would require notifying the Commission. Regrettably, just like the wine and spirits industry, the beer industry (…) is associated with the production of alcohol, which is why the Commission did not agree with the inclusion of the beer sector, along with the rest of the food industry, among the activities that qualify for such support.”