A delegation from the National Garlic Sector of Asaja, chaired by Miguel del Pino, and also from the National Garlic Table, of which Del Pino is vice-president, has met in Brussels with MEPs Clara Aguilera, Juan Ignacio Zoido, and Mazaly Aguilar to ask for their help to prevent the "fraudulent" entry of Chinese garlic into the European Union (EU), and to ask that Egyptian garlic imports pay tariffs.
According to Del Pino, the Spanish garlic sector wants the large distribution areas to pay producers better prices for their garlic (a request that is backed up by France, Italy, and Portugal). They also want a moratorium to be applied on the prohibition of the use of certain pesticides that the sector has been using until other alternative products reach the market.
These are the sector's most pressing needs, Del Pino stated. We are optimistic and expect a positive response and support in this regard, but there are also other questions about the competition, even "fraudulent" imports to the European market garlic from China and Egypt, he added.
Del Pino said that the Egyptian garlic was entering the EU without paying any tariff, which made them a tough competitor for the Spanish garlic. Egypt's production volume is already higher than Spain's production and their prices are much lower because Egypt's production costs, including the cost of transporting the product to Europe, are infinitely lower than the costs in Spain. Thus, the Spanish garlic expects the MEPs and the European Commission to review the corresponding agreement with Egypt to level the competition. "It's just not possible that they bring in more garlic without paying any tariffs," he stated.
The president of Asaja's National Garlic Sector also said that fresh garlic from China was being entered into the EU as if it were frozen garlic, which constitutes a tremendous fiscal fraud because the import of Chinese fresh garlic is subject to a quota and, once it's surpassed, must pay a dissuasive 1.2 euro per kilo tariff. Meanwhile, frozen Chinese garlic has no quota, nor tariff.