Friday, August 12, 2011

Furious French farmers ransack Spanish delivery trucks as E.coli crisis sickens European agriculture - 12th Aug 2011

French farmers have begun attacking shipments of fruit and vegetables from Spain as an international crisis rips through the European agriculture industry.

The problems stem from the lethal E.coli outbreak in Germany in June that killed 26 people dead and left thousands more seriously ill.

Germany originally blamed Spanish cucumbers for the outbreak, a claim later retraced, but not before it led to thousands of tons of uncontaminated fruit going to waste.

But the huge losses suffered by Spanish farmers during that crisis has led to them slashing the prices of their produce, undercutting the native growers in France by as much as 40 cents a kilo.

Vegetables of France, a union of vegetable producers, said the undercutting is possible because Spanish farmers are far more relaxed about labor costs and the enforcement of rules regarding the use of pesticide.

That has led to angry scenes with members of the French farmers union (FDSEA) breaking into Spanish fruit trucks and throwing the loads onto the ground, destroying entire cargos of fresh edible fruit. Read More