Nearly 60 farmers and ranchers in the province of Huelva supported the call made by the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA Huelva) rallying on Monday in Moguer to demand fair prices and being treated decently.
According to UPA, the protest lasted around an hour and the number of participants was reduced to the representatives of the groups due to the pandemic.
Among other things, protestors demand the administrations defend the berry sector. According to the general secretary of UPA Huelva, Manuel Piedra, "the berry sector is the target of defamations and disqualifications by parties that have economic interests in creating a hostile environment in the campaign and in deteriorating the prestige that berries have in Europe."
Piedra demanded producers are paid fair prices. Strawberry producers are being paid one euro per kilo, which, according to UPA, is the same price they were paid more than 30 years ago. Meanwhile, production costs stand at nearly 1.50 euro, and the product is sold for more than 3 euro per kilo in Spanish supermarkets.
"It isn't fair that the profits go to speculators while farmers take risks and work hard on a daily basis to produce quality products to feed the Spanish people," Piedra stressed.
Inspections, in the spotlight
Piedra also said that, even though they consider inspections are necessary, farmers have to be respected and treated with dignity during the inspections. He said they were food producers but felt they were being treated like criminals. Huelva's berry campaign generates wealth and more than 90,000 jobs, and producers are tried like criminals every day, he added.
He said they wanted the number and frequency of inspections to be equal to that of other productive sectors. "Berry producers are continuously subjected to work, accommodation, and fuel inspections, among others, which it makes daily work on the farms very difficult," he said.
He also said that the farmers' vehicles were continuously being weighed because the administration's vehicle weighing inspections were aimed at taxing them.