Tough news for Romanians with a constant hankering for Mexican avocados or Japanese beef: Yesterday, President Klaus Iohannis signed legislation that requires grocery stores to sell at least 51 percent locally-produced Romanian meat, fruit, eggs and vegetables. Why do I have the feeling that pineapples will suddenly be harder to come by?
According to the Associated Press, the new rules, which are intended to support Romanian farmers, aren’t without their limitations. For instance, they only apply to food outlets with annual sales greater than $2.2 million – meaning “specialty markets” probably just got that much more special. The AP also notes the legislation could be challenged in the Constitution Court.
Unsurprisingly, the regulations have been criticized by the Association of Big Retailers who says the restrictive rules will drive suppliers out of business and result in price increases. To be fair though, the “Association of Big Retailers” doesn’t seem like the name of an organization that has the average person’s best interests at heart. I’m not saying they’re bad people; I’m just saying they’re bad at naming their own association.
In case you were wondering, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ website, Romania’s main crops “include maize, wheat, rye, barley, vegetables, sunflower, potatoes, sugar beet, soybeans and fruit.” Okay, so that’s a bit carb heavy. Meanwhile, a 2015 article on a site called Romania-Insider.com suggests that the country’s biggest exports are wheat, corn and cigarettes. Sounds like good eating to me!