Russia’s loss is someone else’s gain, as farmers’ organizations in Spain launched a protest of the Russian embargo of European foodstuffs by handing out free fruit and vegetables to passersby in Madrid.
According to The Local, farmers set up in Madrid on Friday morning and proceeded to give away 22,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables. Europe exported €9 billion worth of food to Russia last year, and Russia’s new ban on European food imports -- a retaliation for sanctions on Russia because of its military presence in Ukraine -- is expected to leave farmers and food producers with a serious oversupply. Spain reportedly exported $440 million in fruit last year, and agricultural unions say the effect of the ban on Spain’s fruit producers will be “very serious.”
Organizers behind the Madrid protest are calling on the E.U. to compensate Spain’s food producers for the loss of income and excess food caused by the Russian embargo. The protest also included a social media push. People who received free fruit were encouraged to spread the word about the issue by posting selfies with the hashtags #BesaLaFruta (kiss the fruit) and #VetoRuso (Russian embargo).