Since May 1, the EU has blocked all imports of Indian mangoes, eggplant, taro plant and two types of gourd until December 2015. The European Commission announced the ban after authorities in Brussels found Indian shipments of fresh produce contaminated with fruit flies last year.
British MPs including Jon Ashworth and Keith Vaz have criticised the ban for the run-on effects to local retailers, importers and distributors as well as Indian farmers. A petition with more than 2,200 signatures has also been circulated, opposing the ban.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Cameron said, “The European Union has to look on the basis of the science and the evidence and there are concerns about particular cross contamination in term of British crops and British interests.
“But I understand how strongly [Mr Vaz] feels and how strongly the Indian community in this country feels and indeed I look forward to discussing it with the new Indian prime minister.”
The Indian mango season lasts from mid-April to early July. With the ban coming in just as exporters were gearing up for the season, and UK imports of Indian mangoes valued at £6.3m (US$10.68m), prices of mangoes within India have now dropped significantly.