The Chamber of Agriculture (LK) in Lower Austria demands that the same plant protection standards be used for imported goods from third countries as in Austria. As a study by the LK shows, production methods were used that have been banned in Austria for decades, particularly for products from Egypt and Israel.
Potatoes from France and Egypt
A report states that the 2018 wireworm infestation and drought in Austria had led to a shortage of domestic potatoes. Supermarkets had to access imported goods. The Chamber of Agriculture of Lower Austria therefore wondered where the products came from and what production methods were behind them. 50 potato sacks from 10 branches of the central Austrian supermarket chains were examined. Of these, 15 came from France, 11 from Egypt, 4 from Israel, 2 from Cyprus, 1 from Morocco and 1 from Germany.
Above all, the potatoes from third countries like Egypt and Israel raised questions for LK President Johannes Schmuckenschlager. In addition to the long transport routes, the social aspect also speaks against these imports. Egyptians would not be able to afford their own potatoes because the prices are pushed up so much by the Europeans.
It is not enough, however, to have contractors from third countries guarantee compliance with certain production conditions. Schmuckenschlager plans to work for fair conditions and rules for all producing countries in the EU Parliament in Brussels.