Outrage over campaign with rotting orange in Valencia

The symbol of Valencia is the focus of a controversial initiative

by Lorraine Williamson
rotting orange

VALENCIA – With the image of a rotting orange, the ecological organisation Justicia Alimentaria has launched a campaign under the motto “the market is dying out.” The organisation aims to encourage consumers to buy their products locally.

Photos of rotting fruit to draw attention to local markets. Is it a smart move? Or does it simply evoke disgust? One thing is certain, the campaign by Justicia Alimentaria is stirring up emotions. The campaign to promote local markets is supported by the Valencia Ministry of Social Rights and Consumption. However, the initiative has sparked much outrage among various other parties. The Valencia government, the Chambers of Commerce, and agricultural associations are demanding the immediate withdrawal of the campaign. They believe that the depiction of the rotting orange damages the image of citrus fruits.

Valencia President calls campaign “tasteless and insensitive”

Valencia President Carlos Marzón has reacted with dismay to the initiative. He describes it as “tasteless and insensitive” to depict the extinction of markets with photos of rotting fruit. “It’s almost like an obituary, and we demand an immediate halt to the campaign,” he warned. The Regional Minister of Trade and Tourism has already submitted a written request to withdraw the campaign for “defamation and aggression” against municipal markets.

Minister demands rectification

According to many, the campaign by Justicia Alimentaria actually has a harmful effect on the market. There are many people employed in the markets of the Valencia community. The image of the rotting orange is detrimental to the region. The orange is an important symbol for Valencia, much like the banana is for the Canary Islands. The minister believes that the manipulated image of the orange “discredits the markets.” Therefore, she demands a rectification and the immediate cessation of the campaign, which was initiated with the distribution of posters of rotting fruit in Barcelona.

Cogesa Expats

Campaign is harmful to orange as a symbol for Valencia

The campaign by Justicia Alimentaria has caused quite a stir. The Chambers of Commerce of the Valencia Community have joined the demand for the withdrawal of the initiative because it “seriously damages the image of one of the most representative products of the Valencian economy.” Moreover, the orange is a globally recognisable symbol for all of Spain. The fruit was even used as a symbol for the 1982 World Cup.

Agricultural sector also outraged by tasteless campaign

The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) has also reacted with outrage. The Association emphasises that the campaign “could seriously damage the consumption of national fruit by being blind to their quality.” It is a remarkable statement, considering that the campaign is intended to encourage consumers to demand a “public, local, fair, and green” market. “We find it very objectionable that images of rotting fruit are used to revitalise the markets. The ministry should be investing in improving the markets, without undermining or disparaging sectors that are striving to provide quality products with tasteless campaigns. It is clear that the government is not only not helping the farmers, but also supporting economic initiatives that harm us.”

Controversial publicity stunt

The NGO Justicia Alimentaria, the driving force behind the campaign, says it is “strongly committed to defending local agriculture and revitalising markets.” The NGO expresses concern about the request to withdraw the campaign. “We regret the undemocratic (and censored) proposal of the Valencian political party PP.


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