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Parliamentary questions
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16 June 2021
Question for written answer  E-003151/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Jordi Cañas (Renew)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Fraud in the labelling of tomatoes produced in Western Sahara and sold as a product of Morocco

A recent report(1) revealed that 7 to 14 % of the tomatoes that Morocco exports to Europe are actually produced in Dakhla, in Western Sahara which is illegally occupied by Morocco, from where they are transported by land to Agadir (Morocco). There they are mixed with tomatoes from Souss-Masa and are packaged and labelled for export as a product produced in Morocco.

The sale of tomatoes from Western Sahara disguised as a product of Morocco, is in breach of numerous European laws and of the EU-Morocco Association Agreement, which provide that products arriving in Europe must be labelled with an indication of origin identifying where they are produced. This makes it impossible for European consumers to know the true origin of the products, in a clear breach of EU labelling rules and of the agreements signed, and also creates unfair competition for European producers, leading to a collapse in tomato production in producer countries such as Spain.

1. Will the Commission carry out its own investigation into the alleged fraudulent practice highlighted in this report?

2. How will the Commission ensure that Morocco complies with the EU-Morocco Association Agreement and Council Decision (EU) 2019/217 with regard to agricultural products grown in Western Sahara?

Original language of question: ES
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