Almeria's vegetable producers were left with a bitter feeling last season because, once again, the numbers have not added up for many of them. Tomato, watermelon and melon producers had the worst campaign, as they closed the campaign with losses of approximately 25 million Euro and 75 million Euro, respectively.
Tomato, specifically, continues to lose weight in the province; not only in area, but also in value. Despite having less supply, mainly due to the loss of hectares, it is being sold at a lower price.
This decline in tomato translates into an increase in other productions, such as zucchini, a 'refuge' product for many of these farmers, which also didn't have a great spring. This year has been marked by great differences and instability in prices, with very complicated moments in virtually all products.
Pepper consolidated its leadership in Almeria greenhouses and was followed by watermelon in terms of surface area. The same cannot be said for their prices.
A fair and equitable trade policy
In the final stretch of the campaign, Asaja has met with Spanish MEPs and have told them that tomato producers from Almeria, Spain, and other parts of Europe, are concerned the tomato sector will disappear; and that there is also risk for other products, such as zucchini.
"It is normal for farmers to feel helpless, outraged, and willing to protest in the streets to denounce that Europe is maintaining an unfair double standard as it increases demands for a green CAP, reduces the budget, and does not require that imports from other parts of the world comply with the quality standards it demands from its own productions. It is a fraud against producers and consumers, and they have been accomplices of this fraud for years," stated the president of Asaja Almeria, Antonio Navarro.
"We won't stop and we'll insist on creating a common front that defends our family and sustainable productive model. Now, when we see that the numbers of the last season do not add up and many of us are already starting to plan the new harvest, we also have to plan the actions that we will carry out in the coming months."
"Trade policy must be fair and equitable with us or little by little an entire strategic and essential sector - which proved how essential it is in the pandemic- will be dismantled," he stated.