Onion growers from Spain’s Costa Blanca say they have been forced to surrender in a cheap onion price war with New Zealand and Peru. The local growers say their own crops are just not worth picking because of undercutting from overseas markets that are selling to Spanish shops.
La Unió de Llauradors has done a survey looking at onion and potato growers in the Vega Baja region, who say that the price of cheap imports has been “ridiculous.” Imported onions from as far away as New Zealand and Peru, in addition to the Netherlands, have flooded out local supermarkets, forcing farmers to literally abandon whole fields of crops.
Locally grown onion prices are 50 per cent down on what they were a year ago, and cheap imports have made the onions financially unviable to pick as buyers have done business with importers. It appears even worse for potato growers, as they say that prices are 60 per cent lower compared to May 2019.
La Unió de Llauradors estimates that €4.6 million have been lost by local potato farmers, whilst the onion growers have taken a €2.5 million hit. Exports of local produce have been hindered by the pandemic, and farmers in the Vega Baja also had to contend with last autumn’s floods that put them on the back foot for months.