The Spanish fruit and vegetable sector is attacking its Moroccan competition, through the bill to amend the law on the food chain. The project, which will be discussed during this week by the Agriculture Committee of the Spanish Lower House, strongly mobilizes the agricultural sector of the neighboring country. A priori, it is legislation that the sector has been demanding for ages, namely that selling prices cover production costs.
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The new legislation should protect Spanish producers
Once the legislation is passed, producers will be better off: their products can no longer be marketed below cost price. This new legislation should protect Spanish producers from abuses by large distributors. However, not everyone agrees with it. Even worse! The lobby of producers and exporters believes that this new measure should serve the interests of the Moroccan export industry and allow it to further establish its place on community stalls. In fact, for this group, the Moroccan agricultural export sector has become the all-purpose argument to protect its position and displace all competition.
For Spanish agricultural producers, this new legislative standard will help to further boost demand for Moroccan shipments, given their very competitive prices. Because, according to the arguments of the Spanish agricultural sector, the establishment of a reference price is certainly a laudable measure, but it should also apply to agricultural shipments from third countries.
Otherwise, Iberian farmers believe that this measure will greatly benefit Moroccan agricultural exports
According to their prognosis, Moroccan exporters will have more leeway to sell their goods at more competitive prices, since their Spanish competitors will have their hands tied and cannot lower prices. Under no circumstances can these prices be lower than the natural price. On the other hand, they deplore, exporters cannot market their goods as long as the tariffs are below the cost price. “Thus, Moroccan production will take advantage of this to liquidate everything that the Spanish horticultural sector can not place below the cost price,” lamented the association of organizations of fruit producers and horticulture (COEXPHAL). That will lead, added the organization, a Moroccan and Dutch domination on this market.
On the one hand, it demands better protection against large distributors, accused of dictating their law and pulling down prices, to the detriment of producers. On the other hand, it hopes to eliminate Moroccan competition by imposing a purely Spanish legislation. For this lobby, the conditions of production are not the same, as the labor deemed more affordable in the kingdom. However, what it seeks is a severe protectionism, which eliminates any desire for competition. For the time being, the Spanish government refuses to make any amendments to this project.
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First published in LesEco.ma, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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