Angry French winegrowers blocked a border crossing with Spain on Thursday. They emptied trucks full of Spanish wine and destroyed a load of cava.
Trucks loaded with goods from Spain, mainly wine, encountered an unusual obstacle on their journey this week. Around 500 French vintners and winemakers blocked the border crossing in the Le Perthus region as part of a demonstration at the Le Boulou toll in southern France.
This protest was mainly to demand a halt to Spanish wine imports. According to information from Spanish news agency Efe, the protesters not only blocked the passage of trucks, but also destroyed batches of tomatoes and burned several car tyres.
Trade union condemns the action
Spanish agricultural trade union Unión de Uniones expressed its disapproval of this destruction of Spanish wines and other goods at the border by French winegrowers. In a communiqué, the agricultural organisation condemned the “acts of vandalism” that have taken place at the French border with the emptying of tanks and the destruction of hundreds of crates of Spanish wine and tomatoes.
For Unión de Uniones, these are illegal actions that are an attack on free trade and, moreover, do not affect those who are really ruining the winemakers, but other producers who are in the same or worse situation than them.
‘Spanish winemakers who, despite the short harvest this year, have delivered grapes at ridiculous prices, are suffering the same crisis situation in the sector, without being able to rely on the specific aid that the French government has put in place for its wine sector. ‘Destroying goods at the border has not solved anything in the past and will not do so now,’ the union stated.
The organisation believes that French winegrowers ‘have the wrong enemy’. Therefore, they see in these events a ‘wrong’ response to farmers’ fatigue with a European policy that allows the import of products from third countries that do not have to have the same excellence as European products, that does not correct the dysfunctions of the food chain, that does not effectively prosecute the abusive practices of the industry or that does not achieve a fair distribution of the value added generated.
‘If they want us to fight together against those responsible for this situation, Spanish farmers are ready to lend them a hand, but this irrational vandalism must stop,’ they denounced.