Spanish fruit and vegetables exporters worried about Morocco-UK association deal

Fruit and vegetables exporters in the Canary Islands are concerned about the association agreement signed on 26 October between Morocco and the UK.

Two professional organisations in the province warn of a new obstacle to local produce, recalling that, "for example 50% of tomato and cucumber harvests are exported to the British market," reports online publication Canaria7.

The two bodies believe that the partnership between Rabat and London is "a fatal blow against a sector already in agony since the British voted in favour of the exit of the European Union in the referendum of June 23, 2016," the same source indicates.

Three years after the Brexit vote, they fear "the disappearance of vital aid for the survival of the activity" once the divorce between the EU and the United Kingdom is effective.

Exporters wish to continue to benefit from the subsidies included in the Canary Islands Community Agricultural Production Support Program on an exceptional basis by calling on the ultra-specificity of the archipelago.

Less alarmist than the professionals of the archipelago, the Spanish Federation of associations of Producers and Exporters of fruit and vegetables said in a statement that the October 26 agreement should "allow Morocco to strengthen its exports to the UK market."

The same statement recalls that "Morocco is already a competitor of the Spanish sector."

The United Kingdom is the third largest destination for fruit and vegetables produced in Spain, after France and Germany.