Since 2014, Russia’s counter-sanctions against EU agricultural imports have hit European farmers hard. The measures were a response to Western sanctions against Russia imposed following the reunification of Russia and Crimea. As a result, European fruit and vegetable producers lost their second largest export market.
RTD travels around the continent to see how a political dispute has affected the livelihood of farmers from Spain to Holland and Germany to Italy. Polish apple growers candidly explain the devastating impact of losing their main customer. An Italian market gardener explains why his need to find alternative outlets for surplus kiwis and peaches weaken his position as a seller. From Brussels to Spain and France, farmers stage protests to express their anger at the European Union’s inaction and farmer representatives lay out their demands. As sanctions continue to bite even harder, they fear the long term effects they will have on an already precarious EU agricultural system.