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attacks on Moroccan fresh produce trucks

"Complementarity must prevail over competition"

The attacks on Moroccan fresh produce trucks in Spain and France betray a major misunderstanding between professionals from the two shores, as well as an unease that cannot be ignored and that must be remedied, declares Mostapha Mohattan, CEO of Fructimoor.

The exporter says, "We are well aware that our European colleagues are going through a difficult period and wish to draw attention to their long-standing discontent, compounded by a drought that has hit many countries such as Spain for the past three years. We also regret to see scenes of vandalism and degradation of our products and to see that our transporters are forced to work in difficult conditions."

"However, we insist that we are in a spirit of complementarity with European farmers, supplying healthy, high-quality products that meet all European standards and, above all, fill a gap due to the seasonal nature of certain products," says Mohattan. "Quotas set by free-trade agreements are also strictly adhered to, and if these are exceeded, additional charges are applied. I think other European producers and exporters based in Morocco will tell you the same thing."

Mohattan continues: "European household consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is on the rise, exceeding that of previous years. Given the climatic swings we are experiencing, we can legitimately wonder whether European farmers will be able to produce more than in previous years or how they will be able to meet consumer needs at certain times of the year when only Moroccan supply is available on the market".

At the height of the tensions, the exporter wants to reassure us, "We think that the prospects for exporting fruits and vegetables from Morocco remain optimistic, and our products are increasingly in demand by European consumers. The products exported by FRUCTIMOOR, as by all Moroccan producers, meet the standards in vigor in Europe and undergo two controls before leaving Moroccan territory. A traceability control by ONSSA and another conformity and quality control by Morocco FOODEX".

According to Mohattan, current events are calling on Moroccan exporters to diversify their markets and not confine themselves to the European market. He argues, "Today, Morocco is the world's third largest exporter of round tomatoes. Following the Brexit, the British market showed to be a good lever for developing our exports." It's in our interest to work more with other countries like China and Russia. And we believe that other market opportunities beyond Europe will present themselves in the near future."

Mohattan recalls the spirit of solidarity among Moroccan exporters during the attacks in Europe. He recounts, "Moroccan exporters present in international markets in Europe, as happened in Perpignan where we are located, organized themselves to mitigate the effects of the demonstrations. In many situations, we have seen Moroccan exporters helping out each other, replacing destroyed or delayed stocks, in order to deliver customers in time and avoid supply disruptions."

"With our Moroccan and European colleagues alike, we must not forget the nobility of our sector, and complementarity and solidarity must prevail over competition," concludes the exporter.

For more information:
Mostafa Mohattan
Tel.: +33659752318 / +212656873543