Rabat – Nearly eight weeks into a major boycott, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch is hoping for a quick end to the boycott of the Centrale Danone dairy company as the sector “supports 1.4 million people.”
The minister, who owns boycotted gasoline company Afriquia gas, denounced the boycott of three prominent companies in the early days of the campaign, which began April 20.
Akhannouch’s latest plea was made during the oral questions session held on Tuesday at the House of Councilors.
According to Akhannouch these efforts to preserve the sector are made to support people working in this field.
“We hope to see the end of the tunnel at the end of Ramadan,” he said.
In a statement published on June 4, Centrale Danone announced that it had suffered a net loss of MAD 150 million in the first half of 2018.
A recent study by global leader in data investment management Kantar revealed that the dairy company’s market share fell from 46.7 percent in April to its current level of 18.3 percent.
Earlier this month, Moroccan interprofessional federation of milk (FIMALATI) urged Akhannouch to intervene to end the boycott on Centrale Danone products on Friday.
In a meeting with the minister, FIMALATI representatives of Moroccan farmers expressed “strong concerns and their distress” following Centrale Danone’s decision to reduce their milk order from farmers by 30 percent.
A post-meeting statement from the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture expressed concerns over the consequences of the boycott, saying that the professionals of the dairy sector exposed the “difficulties experienced by farmers, peasants, and milk producers” due to the boycott.
The meeting also discussed the “devastating impact of the disruption of the production chain on pastoralists, compromising their income, their ability to repay their debts and maintain their investments.”
During the 13th annual International Agricultural Fair (SIAM) held in April in Meknes, Akhannouch was one of the first government minister who said that the online campaign cannot stop 470,000 employees in the dairy sector. He added that the public “should be thankful for the fact that there are no milk shortages and the product is available throughout the year.”