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13 August 2020

Fruit growers not insured against sunburn, but insured against heat

Fruit growers not insured against sunburn, but insured against heat

Fruit growers have suffered a great deal of damage from sunburn during the recent heat wave. However, fruit growers cannot insure themselves against sunburn, and heat is not included in weather insurance either, unlike drought, storm and hail damage. "For the heat of the last few days and weeks to be recognized as a disaster, there needs to be clarity on any damage. For that, damage commissions or experts must determine that damage," responded Flemish Minister of Agriculture Hilde Crevits (CD&V).


The heat and drought of the last days and weeks has also had an impact on the fruit cultivation in Flanders this year. The sunburn causes serious damage to the fruit, and comes on top of the night frost of this year and the drought of the last two years.

According to Minister Crevits, clarity on the possible damage must first follow. "Since January 1, 2020, the agricultural disaster fund was replaced by the broad weather insurance. Recognition of disasters involving damage to crops has, however, been integrated into the general disaster fund, which falls under the competence of Prime Minister Jambon," explains Crevits. "This fund will still intervene in 2020 if the farmer is insured for at least 25 percent of his farm area through the broad weather insurance and if the circumstances are recognized as a disaster."

The minister says he and Prime Minister Jambon are closely monitoring the situation to be able to support affected farmers if necessary. "But it is important for farmers to contact their insurance company to find out if they are eligible for compensation there for the damage incurred," Crevits says. "In addition, any farmer who has taken out weather insurance will be reimbursed up to 65 percent of the premium during the first three years."