The “Made in France” works and some make it their business … even if it means lying a little about the origin of the product. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, a wholesaler is suspected of having disguised his Spanish fruits and vegetables in order to pass them off as local production. A case that has not escaped the state services which have opened an investigation, announced the prefecture on Monday, July 5.
It will now be up to the Tarascon prosecutor’s office to judge whether or not there has been a deception on the quality of the product. According to the first information on the investigation, relayed by 20 minutes, false invoices would have been printed with the inscription France on it. As for the Spanish labels, they were simply thrown away from the truck and quickly replaced by a tricolor seal. In all, the wholesaler would have bought “several hundred tons of vegetables” between 2020 and 2021. The investigation also indicates that the victims of the wholesaler would be in part customers of the large distribution.
Playing with prices and seasons
“The interest in fraud lies in the differences in price and seasonality of fruit and vegetables between producing countries. For example, last June, Spanish peppers were trading on the wholesale market at around 2 euros per kilo. that the French pepper, the harvest of which has barely begun, can be bought at nearly 3 euros per kilo “, explains the prefecture, quoted by Franceinfo.
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The wholesaler will be tried for deceptive business practice. He faces up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros.