As Morocco raises it profile and commitment to increasing exports to the UK through its link up with food and drink event IFE in London, Spanish grower groups are questioning its environmental credentials.

Valencia-based producers' association Ava-Asaja has said the north African country's much touted environment-friendly production programme Plan Vert, as wellas modernising the horticulture sector, also threatens food sustainability in the domestic marketplace as the Spanish claim it will take out 1m ha of cereal production and turn the acreage instead to production of horticulture crops for export to the EU.

'Morocco'spriority is not to alleviate its own population's food deficit but to improve its trade balance, reward foreign investment and above all enrich the oligarchy – led by Mohamed VI – which already owns the country's most fertile lands,' said Ava-Asaja president Cristóbal Aguado.