On Tuesday, May 14, Interfel voted a new standard for the direct sale of apricots. It will impose "the sizing and packaging rules currently in force for retailers".
According to the Farmers' Confederation, this generates overly high costs for farmers and therefore directly threatens the direct sale of apricots from producer to consumer. She claimed, in a statement, that this will force farmers "to equip themselves with expensive grading equipment and to seal all jam apricots in closed packages".
"These provisions are an attack on direct sales, a real island of survival for many producers who are trying to escape the slump of long circuits. They will lead to an increase in working time and unnecessary additional investments," the peasant confederation said.
She also pointed out the other agricultural unions which voted for the measure were "nevertheless quick to denounce the weight of norms".
Apricot prices are falling all the time. With the freeze that has hit the country, the situation is not expected to change. "If nothing is done, we will go towards a huge imbalance in apricots. In the Drôme, we're going to tear out apricot trees. All that we tear up will be replanted in Spain," explains André Bouchut, representative of the Confédération paysanne at Interfel. It therefore calls for the introduction in Europe of a "minimum entry price", which would entail a ban on a neighbouring country exporting its products below a certain price.