The Union of Small Agricultural Producers and Cattle Ranchers (UPA) has reported the imbalances that are again resurfacing in the summer fruit production and distribution chain. The agrarian association denounces that the Law of the food chain is not being respected in this sector. This rule requires the existence of a written contract for the sale of fruit between the various links in the chain (growers, fruit and vegetable plants, distributors, etc.), and in reality, such contracts are not being signed, except in "a small number of cases, so thousands of tons of fruit are sold every day in Spain in an illegal fashion."
Fruit producers admit to feeling defenseless before a "perverse operation" of the agro-food chain. The perishable character of their productions forces them to rely on certain plants or first buyers, who take the production, distribute it and at the end of the process, they pay the producer what they feel is fair for them based on their earnings.
According to the secretary general of UPA, Lorenzo Ramos, this sale without fixed prices is prohibited in Spain, but it is practiced every day in all producing regions.
The UPA has been insisting on the fact that this sector needs strict regulations, as well as the existence of an interprofessional organization to solve these issues and to ensure the supply is adapted to the demand. The situation is such that some producers are even cutting down their trees with their production in them, given the lack of profitability in the stone fruit market.
The UPA has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and its Agency for Food Information and Control (AICA) to "act immediately, with force and political will" in order to resolve this serious situation that affects fruit growers across Spain and thousands of tons of fruit.