Furious farmers defy Russia with free fruit
Steve Tallantyre · 5 Sep 2014, 15:56
Published: 05 Sep 2014 15:56 GMT+02:00
- Russians shun Spain as Ukraine crisis bites (18 Aug 14)
- Ukraine crisis: Putin hits Spain with sanctions (07 Aug 14)
Unions and co-operatives in the sector organized the give-away under the slogan "Save the Spanish agricultural sector from the serious consequences of the Russian embargo".
Groups including Asaja, COAG and UPA demanded compensation from EU Agriculture Ministers who are currently meeting in Brussels.Madrid residents were invited to help themselves to items including peaches, pears, apples and potatoes.
According to the Spanish edition of the Huffington Post, the event also included a social media photocall. Recipients of the free fruit were encouraged to post selfies of themselves with the hashtags #BesaLaFruta (kiss the fruit) and to declare themselves against the #VetoRuso (Russian embargo).
Spanish fruit exports to Russia usually total €340 million ($441 million) a year and loss of access to the market has had "very serious" effects on the sector according to unions.
Producers across Europe, who exported €9 billion of food to Russia last year, have been left with a glut of certain foodstuffs as a result of the embargo.
Russia's year-long embargo on fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy imports from the European Union was announced in early August. It was imposed as a retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russia because of its support for rebels in Ukraine.