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Spain: Trade agreements take a toll on fruits and vegetables

In view of the report by Eurostat on the import of fruits and vegetables from third countries into the European Union, the Union of Farmers and the Ranchers' Union have expressed their unease and noted that the worst forecasts are being met.

The entity, which has already warned in recent months about the risk involved in approving trade agreements without considering the negative impact it might have on EU producers, has shown its discontent after learning that Morocco and Egypt are the European Union's largest vegetable suppliers.

The organization believes that this only harms the intra-EU market, which, having fallen by 1%, will continue a downward trend in the coming months. With regard to Spain, while food exports have improved in 2016 as a consequence, in part, of lower prices in the domestic market, the organization argues that the proliferation of new tariff-free trade agreements could take a negative toll on Spanish producers.

The Union of Unions stressed that these agreements have an impact on the prices, markets and employment in our country. Agreements such as that between the EU and South Africa have contributed to this year's disastrous orange campaign. They have therefore urged the Spanish administration to carry out an in-depth analysis of the scope and impact of these trade agreements for the productive sector.

"We import foods produced under different conditions, with lower social, environmental and health costs and with different quality parameters, which allows them to enter at prices against which our farms are unable to compete, and also free of tariffs," affirm members of the Union of Unions. "If our politicians encourage or allow large retailers to prefer bringing in South African oranges from more than 12,000 kilometres away instead of buying them from growers in the town where the supermarket is located, they are contributing to endangering our productive sector and the business network it sustains," they add.

Publication date: 1/13/2017


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