The provincial agricultural organizations COAG, ASAJA and UPA, in addition to Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de Granada, will be protesting in Motril to make it clear to society and to the various public administrations (provincial, regional, national and European) that the fruit and vegetable sector is in an unsustainable situation, affected by a serious structural crisis that has been on-going for several campaigns, and which has become even more severe at the start of the current one.
Organizations and the Federation of Cooperatives denounce that European producers have to compete in their own market against products from third countries while dealing with much higher costs in wages, as well as in fiscal, environmental and social aspects. This unfair competition threatens the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of producers, who receive prices below their production costs.
The representatives believe that the public administrations have abandoned the Spanish agro-food sector, especially the fruit and vegetable sector, a leading exporter to the European market. Structural measures are requested, and they regret that the European Union has handed its internal market over to the large distribution chains, preventing the fruit and vegetable sector from being competitive and constantly using it as a bargaining chip in the agreements with third countries.
For these reasons, on November 19, at 11:00 in the morning, the entire fruit and vegetable sector, including producers and cooperatives, irrigation communities, or the auxiliary industry in Granada and other neighboring provinces, will be joining forces in an unprecedented joint action. The goal is to get the Public Administrations to take the horticultural sector into account and to participate in the search for solutions to the constant losses in profitability suffered by thousands of people in this province.
In addition to the agricultural strike, a demonstration has been convened in Motril for Tuesday, November 19 at 11 am. Thus, Granada and Almería's powerful fruit and vegetable sectors will be joining in a historical claim.
The provincial agricultural organizations COAG, ASAJA and UPA, and Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de Granada stressed that all companies, producing and marketing entities are invited to participate. The objective is to ensure that a number of fair and urgent demands are met in order to guarantee the viability of the fruit and vegetable sector.
1. Raising the awareness of all administrations about the crisis in the fruit and vegetable sector.
- Reporting about the lack of profitability of many small and medium-sized farms. Showing the imminent risk of disappearance of important crops for Granada, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, among others.
- Studying the possibility of providing aid and/or cutting the cost of some production inputs (energy, water, taxation, etc.).
- Urgent measures for the eradication of problems in the production area (water, field cleaning, lack of labor, etc.)
2. Putting an end to unfair competition from third countries.
- Measures for the control of non-EU imports by bringing back import certificates.
- Control of tariff rates.
- Review of the minimum entry prices for non-EU products.
- Control and eradication of fraudulent labeling of products of non-EU origin.
3. Setting up a specific crisis management fund for the entire fruit and vegetable sector. This new measure falls outside the operational programs of the Fruit and Vegetable PO's and is within reach to all producers.
4. Urgently designing mechanisms based on European regulation in order to prevent commercial impositions from European distribution chains/supermarkets.