On February 27, Huelva's agricultural producers blocked the highway connecting Spain with Portugal, preventing access to the international bridge, in a protest called by the Union of Small Agricultural Producers (UPA) of Huelva. Five hundred people and about 200 tractors took part in it.
Although at first the protest was authorized to occupy only one of the A-49 lanes in the direction of Portugal, at the height of the border, they finally invaded the four, fully blocking the highway for about two hours, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
During that period, the Guardia Civil had to divert the drivers affected to secondary roads; drivers who received a gift as "compensation" for the inconvenience: strawberry and blueberry containers which the protesters themselves were handing out. "Instead of others giving our products away, we'll just do it ourselves, to compensate the people we are hurting in some way with our protests," they said.
The most important production area
"We are blocking the border with Portugal to send a loud and clear message to Europe; to tell you that Huelva deserves to be treated better, since it is the most important berry production area in Europe. We want agricultural producers and ranchers to make themselves heard," said the general secretary of UPA Huelva, Manuel Piedra.
"It is not fair for those who do nothing to take between 500 and 600%. It is not fair that today we have not been able to pay the campaign loans. It is not fair that we have zero credit lines. It is not fair that we have not paid the warehouse costs, and, above all, that nobody can guarantee us that we will manage to charge a high enough price to be able to pay all these debts," said Piedra, assuring that the sector will continue claiming its right to decent work conditions and prices.