The president of the Irrigation Community, Juan Marin, and the head of the Coordinator of Organizations of Farmers and Ranchers of the Region of Murcia (COAG), Miguel Padilla, stated on Wednesday that fruit and vegetable prices were going to go up, mainly because of the increase in production costs.
This increase is closely related to the outbreak of the pandemic. According to Marín, during the months of confinement, the sector's activity was frantic, and costs increased because of the necessary sanitary measures that the sector had to adopt; specifically, the taking of temperature, the control to access the facilities, and the use of protective suits. In addition, there are products, such as onions, that were not sold because of the closure of the HORECA sector during confinement.
Furthermore, the cost of transporting workers tripled due to occupancy limitations. "A van used to transport nine people, but now it can only transport three people," Padilla stated. In fact, they stated, production costs have increased by 25%.
Regarding the number of infections related to farm work, Marin said that there hadn't been any outbreaks in the sector, but that there had been isolated cases. "We have been giving our 110% to comply with all the measures, in a sector that moves more than 100,000 workers." That's why they have asked employees to be responsible in their private lives, especially in the face of an increase in hiring: "We are risking our job, which would be destroyed by a hypothetical stoppage."