Spanish beekeepers stung by Chinese imports
16 March 2005, MADRID-Spanish beekeepers were demonstrating in the capital against imports of Chinese honey, the latest victims of Asian competition which is posing a serious threat to the economy.
16 March 2005
MADRID-Spanish beekeepers were demonstrating in the capital against imports of Chinese honey, the latest victims of Asian competition which is posing a serious threat to the economy.
Spanish beekeepers claim imports of Chinese honey are threatening their livelihood.
They called on the Spanish government to help them alleviate the effects of strong competition from Chinese imports to Spain.
The Spanish honey-making industry has suffered a series of setbacks from cheaper competition from abroad, principally from China.
Beekeepers say Chinese honey is not subject to the same stringent controls which Spanish and other European honey has to undergo.
The beekeepers demonstration is a symbol of continuing competition from Asia which has been having serious effects on many areas of the Spanish economy.
Shoemakers in the south-eastern town of Elche, which is the centre of the Spanish shoemaking industry, staged violent demonstrations against Chinese businesses which had started in the town last year.
Many multinationals have left Spain, seeking to take advantage of cheaper labour in the China, in Asia or Eastern Europe.
In January 2002, Spain banned the importation of Chinese honey after complaints of the use of certain anti-biotics used in its manufacture.
But Tintxu Ruiz, of COAG, which represents beekeepers and other agricultural businesses, said honey made using these same banned anti-biotics, was still reaching Spain via other countries like Vietnam and Turkey.
In the summer of 2004, the ban on Chinese products was lifted.
In Spain, there are 5,000 professional beekeepers, whose prices have fallen 36 percent between 2003-2004, claims the COAG.
Producers have lost EUR 29.2 million in sales due to foreign imports, they said.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news