FRENCH FARMERS PROTEST OVER FOREIGN FRUIT

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Fruit and vegetable growers in southern France recently intercepted trucks from Spain and Italy carrying cheap fruit shipments. They are protesting against supermarkets importing cheaper foreign produce.

“An unprecedented crisis sees prices collapsing,” said a senior official of the farmers’ union, FDSEA, which is demanding that the government implement a rescue plan for the sector.

The official went on to warn of “an economic and social catastrophe in France’s agricultural areas,” if the situation was not addressed.

Earlier this week, around 100 growers from the Gard and Pyrénées-Orientales regions, temporarily blocked traffic at the Gallargues toll-gate on the A9 motorway – a main corridor for road freight traffic from Spain.

The protesters singled out five Spanish trucks carrying fruit, emptying their loads on to the road.

Later in the day, they broke into the premises of a fruit and vegetable wholesaler in nearby Nimes, tipping a good part of the stock, suspected of being of Spanish origin, on to the warehouse floor.

A Lidl distribution hub in the area was also targeted.

Last month, French growers intercepted trucks from Spain, tipping their shipments of peaches outside the Spanish consulate in Perpignan, and also blocked traffic at the Boulou border crossing.

Farmers unions from the Bouches-du-Rhône region, whose main city is Marseilles, took similar action at the end of July to highlight a 50% decline in their income levels – which they claimed was partly due the abundance of Spanish and Italian-origin fruit and vegetables on the region’s market stalls, to the detriment of local produce.
source:  ifw-net.com

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