Concerned with the competitiveness of their products, spinach farmers from all over Spain this week congregated at Proexport in Murcia to protest over what they see as a discriminatory ban on the use of the herbicide Lenacil.
The majority of them thinks that if they are not allowed to use Lenacil, they will be forced to adopt another technique known as "bio-solarization" in order to protect their crops, and this is expected to add around 40 cents per kilo to production costs.
Inevitably this extra expense will be passed on to consumers, making Spanish spinach less competitive in comparison with the same product from other EU countries such as France and Portugal, where they say that a more lenient approach to Lenacil is adopted. An appeal against the ban has been rejected, but the farmers intend to publicize the latest progress which has been made to solve the problems associated with herbicides in crop farming, while at the same time seeking strategies to minimize the effects of implementing bio-solarization.
According to murciatoday.com, they are happy to bear the costs of bio-solarization until such time as herbicides can be guaranteed to have no harmful effects but see it as unfair that competitors in neighbouring countries are not obliged to do the same.