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Salvador Salas
Driving over lemons
Opinion

Driving over lemons

Farmers in Spain are not prepared to let their protests fade away in the public eye, something that is always a danger when someone repeats a complaint several times, however valid it might be

Rachel Haynes

Malaga

Friday, 15 March 2024, 16:51

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When Chris Stewart thought up the title for his famous novel about life in rural Andalucía, he almost certainly was not picturing the scenes in Malaga city on Wednesday. There, farmers were literally driving over lemons, crushing the things, in fact, with their heavy tractors, paraded down into town on the motorway in yet another protest.

Farmers in Spain are not prepared to let their protests fade away in the public eye, something that is always a danger when someone repeats a complaint several times, however valid it might be. So a few tonnes of crushed lemons on the road is a good reminder.

A trip to the local market makes us realise how lucky we are to live in a place where so much fresh produce is available and much of it hasn't travelled far. We might not be able to find everything all year round, but that's the point. In an ideal world, we eat what is in season locally - and that will generally taste ten times better than the supermarket version shipped halfway around the world.

This is not an ideal world, however, and local farmers are at the wrong end of a chain in which everyone seems to be making money except for them - and, of course, the consumer.

New rules from the EU and competition from countries not subject to those rules are taking their toll, as is the drought, and the farmers are making their presence felt in the city. This week they have lemons to drive over - what comes next might not be quite so colourful, but their protests are unlikely to go away.

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