Europe's farmers angry over 'killer' cucumber crisis

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Europe's farmers angry over 'killer' cucumber crisis

Europe's farmers angry over 'killer' cucumber crisis
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The fallout from the E.coli crisis is being felt by cucumber farmers across Europe after Germany wrongly identified Spanish produce as the source of the outbreak.

Danish growers have also been hit by a slump in sales and some have resorted to feeding them to their livestock.

“It’s outrageous. We have been made hostages in this crisis and we have no say at all. We haven’t been able to do anything. How can we sell our cucumbers?,” asked Danish producer Jacob Soegaard Nielsen.

In Romania, local producers who rely on Germany for a large part of their exports are also struggling.

There is no evidence that Romanian cucumbers carry the deadly E.coli strain, but nevertheless customers are steering clear.

“Every day we are harvesting between 200 and 300 tonnes of cucumbers and throwing most of them away,” said Petre Scorovel, a Romanian farmer.

“Our sales are zero. We are losing some 100,000 euros daily.”

In Spain, supermarkets say shoppers are also leaving cucumbers on the shelves.

“There is a surplus. We haven’t sold enough. A really huge amount has been thrown out and we’re worse off than before,” said one Madrid grocer.

Germany traditionally buys more Spanish fruit and vegetables than any other country.

Last year, Spain exported 9.4 million tons of fruit and vegetables and a quarter of that was snapped up by German buyers.

in 2010, Spain’s fresh produce exports totalled revenues of 7.4 billion euros.