Farmers are facing the most expensive campaign in history, according to the general secretary of Asaja-Almeria, Adoración Blanque. "The horticultural sector's costs have increased by 33% on average so far."
"For example, inputs such as fertilizers, electricity, or plastic have increased by more than 50% in the current campaign, which is really problematic. At the moment, costs have increased by 1.60 euro per meter, i.e. about 16,000 euro more per hectare, a figure that, if the cost of certain inputs is not contained, could even be greater."
In a statement from the agricultural organization, Blanque has pointed out that prices at source have remained at an acceptable level this winter, which has allowed many farmers who had been dragging losses from the previous year to continue this campaign. "We can't forget that there has been less production due to the weather, which has affected virtually all products."
"For example, producers are being paid 4% more for their California-type peppers, which is a moderate increase when compared to the increase in any input needed to produce. This year tomato prices have experienced the highest increases, especially the branch and pear tomatoes, mainly because of the reduction in surface and production and the existing demand for production during winter, since other areas -such as the Netherlands- have modified their production calendar because of the increase in the cost of energy. The rest of the vegetables has increased by 20% on average so far, which may not be enough to square numbers if costs continue to rise, as producers would face a 13% deficit."
"Europe must realize that producing less means importing more"
The situation generated by the war in Ukraine has also highlighted the importance of safeguarding Europe's food sovereignty, protecting its agricultural activity instead of implementing measures that curb its productivity. "This is something that we have criticized about the Field to the Table Initiative or the Green Pact. If Europe does not realize that producing less means importing more, which makes us dependent on a third party, the same can happen this year with cereals," Blanque stated. "We believe that we have the opportunity to give preference to our productions and to guarantee the permanence and survival of agriculture."