Growers lobby EC over imports

UK tomato growers have joined forces with European counterparts to call on the European Commission (EC) to tighten up the entry-price system for the crop and get tougher on import rules.

They said rules for produce entering Europe from other countries needed improving because operators were not paying duties and third-country imports were subject to fraud.

The UK growers met those from Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain last week in Amsterdam to agree demands to put before the EC.

Reform of the entry price was "essential" over issues of minimum levels of community preference, said the European Tomato Growers' Group. The countries in the group, which command around 90 per cent of the European trade, also want the EC to improve imports.

Tomatoes coming into the EU should meet the same food-safety and plant-health standards as those grown within the community, they said.


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