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Frauds in the indication of origin of Moroccan fruit and vegetable products reach Brussels

The complaints made in recent months by various agricultural organizations in Almería and Granada because of the detection of Moroccan fruit and vegetable productions branded as if they were of Spanish origin, have led MEP Clara Aguilera, Socialist spokesperson for the Agriculture Commission, to submit a written question to the European Commission on the indication of origin of certain Moroccan fruit and vegetable products.

The MEP has consulted the Commission to ask if it is aware of these frauds and if it can guarantee that the Member States through which these products enter the EU apply the controls in a similar way or if these controls differ depending on the port of entry through which the products are imported into the EU. This is especially relevant to tomatoes. Aguilera stressed in his communication to the Community Executive that only 4% of EU imports from Morocco enter the EU through Spain.

In fact, the EU buys more Moroccan tomatoes than Spanish tomatoes, even though it doesn't require anything from these tomatoes to enter the market and despite leading the sector into a price crisis. According to ICEX data, between September 2019 and August 2020, Moroccan fresh tomato exports to the European Union (424,000 t) surpassed Almeria's exports for the first time (371,000 t). According to EsAndalucia, purchases of the Andalusian product have been continuously declining in recent campaigns.

"Can we confirm that the quotas established in the EU Morocco Agreement for Moroccan fruit and vegetable products are being met?" Aguilera asked.

It should be noted that the Junta de Andalucia has already conducted nearly 400 specific inspections in Almeria against the relabeling of fruit and vegetable products imported from non-EU countries to look as if they were of Spanish origin, giving rise to sanctions or the opening of sanctioning procedures to eleven companies of the province for illegal product relabeling.



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