Leicester East MP Keith Vaz met up with Asian shopkeepers at the weekend to discuss the ban on Alphonso mangoes and how it will affect businesses.
From May 1st a ban on the import of Alphonso mangoes will come into play, which was put in place by the European Commission.
The department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the temporary EU ban was necessary due to pests, such as fruit flies found in shipments which could threaten the UK’s £321 million salad crop industry.
Standing on the Golden Mile Mr Vaz said “as it stands the whole industry is going to be affected, lots of shopkeepers, there’s only a few round the corner, but there’s so many more who will be affected by this decision and I think it will be very very regrettable if they did that”
The Leicester MP has written to the president Jose Manuel Barroso to ask for an urgent meeting to discuss the ban which comes into affect on May 1.
Dharmesh Lakhani, who runs Bobby’s restaurant on the Belgrave road and is the chairman of the Belgrave Business association said his business and other restaurants and retailers would be badly affected.
A spokesman from Defra said “A temporary ban on mangoes and aubergines entering the UK from India was voted in at the European Commission after plant pests that threaten the UK’s Salad crop industry were repeatedly found in shipments”.
“The pests pose no risk to public health. The ban is across the whole European Union.