CHINA recently destroyed 20 tons of oranges and lemons, allegedly shipped from Alicante.
Citrus fruit growers want explanations from the national and regional governments after the Chinese authorities found that the produce flouted health and safety regulations.
Worldwide publicity and images of workers in bio-hazard suits burying the fruit in quicklime has damaged the region’s reputation, said Cristobal Aguado, President of the AVA agricultural union.
“Total clarification is called for,” Aguado claimed.
Either the national and regional administrations are still in the dark or they are proceeding with caution, sources revealed. What is known is that the documents accompanying the fruit were forgeries and the Chinese authorities found that the 20 tons of half-rotten and mildewed fruit were inadequately packed in un-refrigerated containers. Neither had they passed health or quality checks.
If the paperwork was forged, why assume that the fruit came from Alicante or even Spain, the AVA union is now asking.
Meanwhile, the Generalitat’s Health department will ask the public prosecutor to investigate the shipping company that allegedly sent the fruit. It has had no export activity for five years and in turn accuses a Chinese importer of acting on his own account.