PINEAPLES are an iconic fruit of southern Europe and a symbol of Irish independence, but growing them for sale in Ireland has brought them under fire from environmentalists and some farmers.
The growing and sale of pineappels, which are an important part of the traditional potato family, has sparked concern in Ireland, where some have said the move is illegal and could damage the country’s fragile environment.
While the pineappel industry is booming in Ireland and around the world, the issue of where the pineapple trees are grown has drawn the ire of the European Union, which has said the cultivation of pineapple for sale does not breach its environmental and social commitments.
In Europe, pineapplots are often cultivated for food, but they are also grown as ornamental plants and are valued for their use in medicine and medicine-related products.
While there is a legal exemption for the sale of products containing pineappls, the European Commission has expressed concern that this could jeopardise the integrity of the environment.
“We do not want to see this industry driven into extinction by legalised competition,” said Marisa Coughlan, director general of the Commission for Sustainable Food.
“The Commission is working on measures that will protect the environment and the sustainability of the industry.”
The Commission also believes that we need to keep an eye on the environmental impact of the pineal-derived products, especially in the light of the growing awareness about the health risks associated with this type of products.
“Pineapple growers across the country have welcomed the new measures and said the industry is moving forward.
But some farmers are unhappy with the EU’s new approach.”
The European Commission’s chief food and veterinary adviser, Christiane Vermeulen, said she hoped the new rules would protect the trees and ensure the “environment is respected” in the future.”
I planted them for the sake of our land, for the future of our children and grandchildren.”
The European Commission’s chief food and veterinary adviser, Christiane Vermeulen, said she hoped the new rules would protect the trees and ensure the “environment is respected” in the future.
The pineappler industry is currently in the process of lobbying MEPs in Strasbourg, a powerful EU parliament, to introduce a ban on pineappling in Europe, said Mr Kavanah.
“It’s good to see that we are not just being told what to do by MEPs but by the EU itself,” he said.
“They have got to go back to the drawing board and come up with some sensible solutions.”