“The modification of Law 12/2013 on measures to improve the functioning of the food chain that was approved by Congress on Thursday will negatively impact the position of the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector in foreign markets and will encourage imports, placing Spanish producers at a competitive disadvantage compared to community and non-EU producers, who do not have to respect the effective cost of production,” stated the Spanish Federation of associations of producers and exporters of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and live plants (Fepex),
“From the point of view of the export of fruit and vegetables, which accounts for 65% of the Spanish sector’s turnover, the law will oblige operators that work with Spain to submit to documentary obligations that are not required in the rest of the Member States of the European Union, such as the obligation to contract, generating an increase in bureaucratic management of commercial transactions and discouraging purchases from Spain.”
“Furthermore, imports do not have to respect the effective cost of production because there are no minimum import prices nor are they subject to the same documentary obligations or administrative controls. Thus, the chain law encourages imports,” Fepex stressed.
“The text of the law raises numerous interpretation doubts without giving legal certainty so it will cause the judicialization of commercial relations. A part of the production won’t have an outlet in the market and that will have a very negative impact on producers.”
“Moreover, as stated by director Jose Maria Pozancos in Fepex’s Assembly last Wednesday, the chain law cannot provide an answer to two basic problems: the globalization of the market, a consequence of multilateral commercial negotiations and EU bilateral agreements with third countries, and the absence of effective sectoral market management measures that contribute to supporting prices.”
In 2020, Spanish imports of fresh fruits and vegetables stood at 3.4 million tons, 17% more than 5 years ago, for a value of 3,118 million euro, i.e. 34% more, according to data from the Customs Department and Special Taxes. That same year, the EU imported 14.6 million tons of fruits and vegetables from third countries and exported 5.7 million tons, according to Eurostat data.
Publication date: Mon 6 Dec 2021
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