The establishment on the part of the producer of a minimum price for fruits and vegetables based on production costs, regulated in the Food Chain Law that came into force in February, has brought agents from Almería's agricultural sector into conflict.
On Monday the 22nd, the cooperatives of the Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organizations of Almería (COEXPHAL) described the new regulations as "a death sentence for Almeria's agriculture," warning that it is impossible for producers and companies to comply with them, and that this could lead to significant penalties for different operators in the greenhouse sector.
For their part, Almeria's agrarian organizations have expressed their satisfaction with the reform of a Law that has been in force since 2013 "and which needs regulatory changes to include the establishment of costs before the start of the next campaign."
For Andrés Góngora, provincial secretary of Coag, "the fact that Almerian producers won't be selling for prices below their production costs is a historic achievement and a result of our large-scale protests." According to Góngora, "the most concerning aspect is that it is not the large distribution chains that are protesting the most against it, but the marketing companies themselves."
The secretary of Coag Almería also believes that "agricultural producers cannot survive dealing constantly with speculation, and that it is natural to have a law making it compulsory to set a price in the contract that, at the very least, covers the production costs."
However, in reality, some operators unofficially acknowledge that they continue selling their goods without a contract or a fixed price, and failing to cover the production costs.
As stressed by Góngora, with the new minimum price standard, "we have a tool at our disposal that will improve our bargaining power and allow us to report abuses."