TELEVISION chef Alberto Chicote has succeeded in irritating most of Almeria Province’s tomato growers.
In a recent episode of his programme “El precio de los alimentos” (The price of food) Chicote travelled to El Ejido to discover why prices were plummeting. He had little good to say about the sector which, according to the only grower he spoke to, throws away between two and three million kilos of tomatoes a month.
He attributed overproduction to competition from polytunnels in Romania rather than Morocco and the EU veto on exports to Russia that most affect the sector, disgruntled growers said.
The programme then took viewers to Holland to demonstrate how tomatoes could be grown without waste. This earned little applause from local growers who asked why, if their own tomatoes were so much better, did the Dutch import Almeria tomatoes?
El Ejido mayor Francisco Gongora plans to send Chicote a couple of boxes of Almeria tomatoes so that he can sample “real” Almeria agriculture.
The celebrity chef is unprofessional, said the COAG cooperative and, according to Gongora, “a mediocre chef and a worse journalist.”