The blueberry producing sector of the province of Huelva will hold a symbolic protest on May 13 to denounce the low prices received by producers this campaign. The protest will be carried out with the support of the Union of Small Agricultural Producers and Cattle Ranchers of Andalusia (UPA-A).
In the Plaza de las Monjas of Huelva, blueberries will be handed out for free in order to raise awareness about the suffocating situation that producers are going through. At present, blueberries are purchased directly from the farms for 600% less than their retail price. Growers get 2.85 Euro per kilo, while the fruit is sold for 19-21 Euro per kilo in retail establishments.
For the agrarian organization UPA-A, the protest is necessary, since the price at origin doesn't adjust to the reality of the production costs or the market prices paid for blueberries. If the precariousness and speculation in the production of these fruits continues, the sector may eventually disappear.
In fact, the managers of UPA Huelva have always pointed to speculators as solely responsible for the crisis. "If you consider that a 250-gram blueberry tub has a retail price of about 5 Euro on average, for each 4 tubs sold, the grower only gets paid for 1."
While the producers are unable to cover their costs and the harvesting grinds to a halt, the blueberries that remain on the shelves of large stores will continue to be sold to consumers at a gourmet price.
To avoid this situation, UPA Huelva has urged the competent administrations to take concrete legislative measures to protect the weakest links in the chain against this type of abuses. Otherwise, the survival of the sector will be increasingly difficult and the generational replacement practically impossible, deeply affecting the economy of the region.