Hundreds of thousands of kilograms of apples and pears, spread out over the Belgian-Limburg land, are ready to be destroyed. That is what happens to the surplus of fruit that is ‘removed’ to protect the market. Fruit cultivator Kris Franssens made photographs of the fruit in the fields last week. After the Russian boycott, Europe ensured there was an intervention arrangement that removed a certain amount of fruit from the market. The apples and pears cannot be given away, because they would then still find their way to the market.
“Fruit cultivators are pawns of European Strategy”
Kris Franssens says this fruit comes from the Belgian Fruit Auction (BFV). “It is mostly fruit from cultivators who do not have cold storage.” He writes on his Facebook page: “This crazy food waste is offered free of charge by Europe. This is not rotten or bad fruit, but wonderfully crunchy apples and pears, fresh from the trees and covered with a layer of chalk for quick decomposition after ploughing. Europe continues to play Strategy with its European fruit cultivators as pawns. Good luck to all colleagues who will see the result of a year of hard work destroyed in this manner. Fortunately, we have cold storage facilities, but many cultivators do not have these possibilities. Besides, producers might not want to take the risk of sticking their fruit in cooling cells. Cooling costs about ten cents per kilogram, and if you cannot sell the fruit in spring, those costs will be made for nothing…”
Franssens indicates many tonnes of apples and pears are brought to this piece of land in Limburg daily. “In two days, 600,000 kilograms of apples and pears were brought here, 300 tonnes per day. And it will continue in this way.” According to the fruit cultivator, the BFV cultivators did it differently at first, by spraying something on the apples and pears. “But that turned out to be bad for the trees, so they decided to manage it in this manner. Apparently, a part is also sent to the cows. I personally think spreading and destroying them on the land is an unfortunate method. Every auction has its own solution, I know BelOrta’s top fruit goes to a biogas plant. At least something useful happens to it then. This is a much tougher end. In other years, part went to industry, but they are already ‘full up’ as well. They buy the cheapest, and those are often apples from Poland.”
25.700 tonnes of top fruit taken from the market
A new quota was ascribed to member states this year, maximum volumes of fruit and vegetables that can be bought by governments. The allowed amounts are much smaller because the European Commission assumes new markets will have been developed as an alternative to Russia. It concerns 25.700 tonnes of apples and pears in Belgium.
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