The Peach Dilemma

Some 12,000 tons of peaches and nectarines on Wednesday remained in refrigerators in Imathia – one of seven prefectures affected by the Russian food embargo – with another 13,000 tons of fruit remaining unpicked due to a flood of canceled deliveries.
Some 12,000 tons of peaches and nectarines on Wednesday remained in refrigerators in Imathia – one of seven prefectures affected by the Russian food embargo – with another 13,000 tons of fruit remaining unpicked due to a flood of canceled deliveries.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I’ve never been very interested in politics, but lately it just seems so much more applicable to my life than it ever did while I lived in the United States. In today’s political trash bin we have the issue of fruit.

Not just any fruit, but fruit grown by French (and other EU) farmers to be exported to Russia. You may not really be following the whole embargo train ( I know I wasn’t before I moved to France), but here’s a little snippet so you’re caught up to speed.

In a nutshell: A bunch of world leaders are acting like spoiled brats, and aren’t playing nice.

Here in France this is an issue because 1 billion dollars worth of exports went to Russia last year, and that money isn’t coming in this year because of the bans. This is especially bad since the French economy was already in a bit of a squeeze, even before the temper tantrums began.

BUT it also means that peaches are damn cheap, here. As are pears and apples. Since there’s nowhere to send the fruit, it’s being overstocked in most stores, so there is no shortage. This seems initially like a great problem to have, but it’s causing serious issues for smaller stores and especially farmers who were depending on the income the sales would produce.

And, overall, these bans and embargoes don’t really seem to be helping anyone, since the Russians are also experiencing problems with food pricing (some places with 60% increases).

Overall, nobody really likes to talk about politics, but enjoying the fruits of this problem are coming at a cost higher than initial thought would assume. I don’t really ever want to be the ignorant American living in another country, unaware of what’s going on in the world around me, so I think it’s important to look into things like this.

While living in Seattle may have made me feel like issues with Russia were on another planet, the reality is it’s now only a bit father than the distance from Alaska to Hawaii for me to get from here to Moscow. If there was a time to start paying attention, it’s now.

Russiasanctionspic
Value of EU agri-food products banned from entering Russia (€m 2013 figures) via The Guardian
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