A group of farmers in Spain revealed the shocking disparity in orange prices from field to shelf. Figures from the Coordinator of Farmers and Livestock Organizations (COAG) show that, on average, farmers receive €0.25 for every kilo of oranges they farm.
Once picked, they travel no more than 60 km to a central distribution point where they are sorted, bagged and sent out to shops. Once they arrive at supermarkets, consumers are charged €1.60 per kilo for the same orange, an increase of 532%. Tangerines, a popular crop from the Palma del Rio area of Cordoba, increase 509%, from €0.32 in the field to €1.95 on the shelf.
The disparity is not confined to oranges either; olives, oil and meats are also coming under scrutiny for their huge price hikes as they reach the supermarket shelves. The Board of Supermarkets explained that price increases are to cover travel costs, packaging costs, overheads and taxes.
Despite the apparent inconsistencies, orange farmers are optimistic this year, as prices on the field have risen slightly. Previous years, orange and tangerine crops have been sold for as little as €0.09 per kilo, pushing some farmers to leave crops on the trees, as production costs outweigh the farming costs.
Andalusian farmers have been severely struggling recently, with international tariffs hitting the country hard, and rapidly dropping prices are pushing workers in Spain’s oldest profession to the brink. So much so that groups of workers are holding protests across the region to demonstrate their unrest over current working situations.