The Aragonese fruit sector, specifically the one devoted to stone fruit production, is going through a moment of great uncertainty. The production this season is greater than that of previous years, so growers fear price drops, and consequently, lower profits, due to the larger supply.
To this concern we must add the rise in the minimum wage in Spain, which will entail higher production costs. 80% of the expenses in fruit production correspond to labor, so the increase in hourly wages, from the current 6.25 Euro to the expected 7.19 Euro, will bring new expenses to a sector already under pressure.
For this reason, the union of fruit producers of Aragon, UAGA, has already requested exemptions in taxes or Social Security contributions.
The impact of the Russian veto
The Russian veto imposed on European fruit since 2014 has caused a crisis in the sector, as excess supply inevitably causes prices to fall. In Aragon, the consequences of the Russian veto continue to be felt every season, harming thousands of fruit producers in the region, who cannot afford to face their production costs.
The crisis is affecting mainly Aragon and Catalonia, which are the regions producing the most stone fruit. In Aragon, it is estimated that the sector generates some 15,000 direct jobs.
The lack of laborers is a big problem for this sector, which finds it increasingly difficult to hire skilled field workers.