Spanish farmers concerned: Morocco exports products from Sahara

The Spanish farmer organisation COAG issues a condemning statement on the EU-Morocco trade agreement that entered into force in October.
Published: 12.12 - 2012 22:27Printer version    
"The agreement violates the rights of European consumers. They will not be able to distinguish whether a product labelled as 'Moroccan' are in fact from that country, of if they are from Western Sahara", COAG wrote in a release today.

"European legislation establishes that agricultural products sold fresh can only be sold if they are clearly marked with its country of origin", COAG noted.

They underlined that the UN does not recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. Therefore, they stated, it was a positive development that the Dutch government clarified that the EU consumers cannot be told a product is Morocco if in fact it is from Western Sahara. The statement also shows images of some of the 11 plantations that WSRW mentioned in the report "Label and Liability" earlier this year.

Europe has this autumn been overflown by extremely cheap agricultural products from Morocco. Morocco's agricultural industry in occupied Western Sahara is experiencing a large boost. The commercial plantations are owned by the Moroccan king himself, or of wealthy Moroccan businessesmen.

UN former legal chief stated regarding a similar agreement - that of EU fisheries in Western Sahara - that it would be in violation of international law if twas used for the territory of Western Sahara.



Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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