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"This is ruining us"

"Spain: Jerte cherry producers protest against "abusive" prices"

Hundreds of cherry growers from the Jerte Valley protested this weekend against the "abusive" prices that the product is currently recording. The Cabezuela del Valle municipal sports pavilion was the epicentre of a rally that was attended by many of the region's cherry producers.

The sector is calling on the central and regional governments to take action on the issue. "We are asking for the setting of a minimum price, so that we can at least cover the costs, but also for the consumer, because they are buying cherries for ribeye steak prices," says the spokesperson for the platform Valle del Jerte Unido, Raúl Heras. He explains that the "situation is very serious, since we are charging only 40 cents and the fruit is later sold for up to 18 Euro per kilo."

"This is ruining us, because the minimum price to cover the production costs is 1 Euro, and we are not even close to that," says Heras, who stresses that the cherry campaign is not being good at all. "We need to do something if we want to stay afloat," says the producer.

Heras, for example, is calling for measures to prevent the throwing away of cherries that don't have standard shapes. "We are throwing quality food away just because it doesn't meet aesthetic standards. Rather than that, I would prefer for it to be taken to a soup kitchen," says Heras.

The president of Asaja Extremadura, Ángel García Blanco, has urgently and exceptionally requested the withdrawal of "a large part" of the cherry production from the Jerte Valley in order to pursue the regulation of prices.

Source: EFE

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