FEPEX: Spain calls for EU measures against Moroccan tomato imports
Spain's Federation of Fruit, Vegetable, Flower and Live Plant Grower Exporter Associations (FEPEX) has cried foul over the state of Moroccan tomato imports into the European Union, claiming they are in violation of the two blocs' association agreement.
In a press release, FEPEX highlighted Moroccan tomato imports reached 25,471 metric tons (MT) during the first two weeks of January, exceeding the same period in 2015 by 75% and leading to a collapse in tomato prices.
"According to data from the Saint Charles market in Perpignan, the main point of entry to the EU for Moroccan tomatoes, the growth in imports until Jan. 20 is 100% greater compared to the same period last year, speeding up a growing trend observed since the start of the campaign with volumes that are ever greater than the preferential quotas in the Association Agreement," the group said.
In response, FEPEX has called on the European Commission and Spain's Minsitry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) to apply safeguards provided for in article 7 of Protocol I in the agreement between the EU and Morocco.
The article states that if Moroccan products provoke serious disturbances or lead to damages in the productive sector, the European Commision can take the necessary measures immediately.
"The collapse in prices for tomatoes, a strategic sector in Spanish horticulture, is leading to serious damages to the productive sector and an irretrievable loss of income for tomato growers with prices at origin far below production costs," FEPEX said.