Protests should not prevent the free movement of goods within the EU, federation says

Fepex is calling for action to prevent French farmers from blocking the free movement of Spanish fruit and vegetable exports. Demonstrators blocked highways and dumped crates of imported produce this week, demanding urgent action on low farmgate prices, green regulation and free-trade policies.

According to Fepex, demonstrators have delayed a number of trucks and in some cases destroyed their contents, flouting EU rules on the free transit of goods within the Community.

January is one of the peak months for Spanish produce exports, with more than 1m tonnes of fruits and vegetables leaving the country. As well as being Spain’s second biggest market, France is the main access route to other markets in Europe.

“Fepex understands the discomfort of French farmers and shares many of their demands, such as the lack of coherence between agricultural policy and trade policy, which is leading community producers to situations of competitive disadvantage compared to third countries and the need to that there be a real reflection on the food sovereignty of the continent, however, any type of protest that causes damage to Spanish production is rejected,” the Federation said on Friday.

Fepex is calling on the agriculture minister Luis Planas to put pressure on officials to ensure they “adopt all necessary measures to restore the free movement of goods within its territory”.