State aid: Commission approves a €5.9 million Swedish scheme for liquidity support to mink fur producers in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €5.9 million (SEK 60 million) Swedish scheme to support mink fur producers affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. In 2021, the Swedish Board of Agriculture decided to ban the mating and reproduction of minks with a view to preventing the spread of the virus among these animals, and thereby to protecting human health. As a result of this decision, mink fur producers will not be able to sell mink furs until the end of 2022, with consequent revenue losses. Under the scheme, which is open to mink fur producers who were active in Sweden in 2020, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The measure aims at mitigating the liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing and at addressing part of the losses they incurred. It is expected to benefit approximately 25 mink fur producers. The Commission found that the Swedish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed € 1.8 million per beneficiary, and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.63337 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.