Spanish group slams Chinese 'protectionism'

Countries More News Top Stories
Spanish group slams Chinese 'protectionism'

Spain's Federation of Fruit, Vegetable, Flower and Live Plant Grower Exporter Associations (FEPEX) has accused the Chinese government of "protectionism' and effectively blocking any entry for Spanish fresh produce through complex protocols and demands. plums_55619518 small

The association cast doubts on the likelihood of the Mediterranean country gaining access to the Chinese market for its fruits and vegetables any time in the near future, despite publicized official efforts to secure entry.

The Minsitry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) is currently in negotiations with its Chinese counterpart to open China's market to Spanish fruits and vegetables, and is reported to be preparing the required protocols.

This follows Spain's submission of a risk analysis for Spanish plums and peaches to the Chinese government in 2011, which was essential to gaining entry for exports from the Iberian country.

Although Spain already exports some food products to China – notably pork and olive oil – exports of fruits and vegetables during 2011 and 2012 amounted to zero metric tonnes, according to official Spanish figures.

A spokesperson for FEPEX told that although some limited progress had been made in negotiations, it was likely to be several years before Spanish fruits and vegetables could be sold on Chinese supermarket shelves.

"There are no expectations that the protocol for entry will be completed soon – it's going to be a process that lasts five, six, seven years," the spokesperson said.

"We put a proposal to the Chinese government back in 2011 and now two years have passed and we still haven’t received a reply.

"Spain is already exporting pork and olive oil to China, but it’s going to be a long process for fruits and vegetables."

Subscribe to our newsletter