MEPs have insisted that British salad growers should be eligible for compensation in the wake of the e. coli crisis that has hit sales across Europe. Labout MEP Richard Howiett said there was no evidence of any health risk from salad goods grown in Britain.
He said that local growers risk losing out twice because of a dent in consumer confidence and the risk of markets being flooded with unsold salad goods from abroad. He went on to say that there was 'deep concern' in his constituency of Hertford and Essex, where over half of Britain's 80 mill cucumbers come from.
“There’s the drop in consumer confidence which is not justified. The salad goods are very safe to eat. Equally important is the danger that the excess salad goods from the Netherlands, Spain and elsewhere are dumped on Britain, bringing unfair competition and seeing the prices paid to the farmer plummet.
“Supermarkets have confirmed that there has been a downturn in purchased salad produce, and if local growers can prove they have lost out they should be just as entitled to EU compensation as their Spanish counterparts,” he said.