The Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-Asaja) has asked citrus growers to remain firm in their price negotiations in the second part of the campaign.
AVA-Asaja considers the first part of the campaign "catastrophic" for thousands of producers, with losses amounting to 160 million Euro caused by a number of adverse circumstances. These include a delay in the fruits' ripening, a low demand due to the lack of cold temperatures, or the pressure exerted in the European markets by citrus fruits from the southern hemisphere, which has led to the payment of "ridiculous" prices that fail to cover the production costs.
The withdrawal of citrus fruits for charity is starting this week, but AVA believes that the volume included in this provision is too small and argues that this measure should have already come into force in September. In this way, a stable market price could have been obtained, argues AVA president Cristóbal Aguado.
The total losses accumulated in Valencia throughout 2018 due to climatic adversities amount to 200 million Euro, according to the estimate of the agrarian organization.
This amount includes damage by both hail and wind in spring and summer (70 million and 23,000 hectares affected), and the impact of torrential rains in October and November on citrus, kakis and vegetables (91 million).
In this regard, Aguado said that the "little bit of" support provided by the Government of Spain and the European Union reached others who didn't need it as much, and said that Mediterranean agriculture is not well covered by the CAP.
Other problems highlighted by AVA are the presence of Xylella fastidiosa, which is already affecting an area of 101,003 hectares, and the trade agreements with South Africa.
Valencia's agricultural sector is losing "many opportunities for the future, and everything comes down to profitability," said Aguado. He mentioned France as an example; a country where the law regulates that growers cannot sell for a price that is lower than the production costs.