A few days ago, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, visited the facilities of the Murcian cooperative Hoyamar, together with the president of the Region, Fernando López Miras, and the presidents of the Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of Murcia (Fecoam), Santiago Martínez, and from the company itself, Domingo Llamas.
Hoyamar is based in La Hoya, a district of Lorca, where it currently has a warehouse for broccoli and another for lettuce with a total of 8,000 m² built on an area of 40,000 m² and a seedbed with 60,000 m² of facilities. The firm's turnover exceeds 20 million Euro per year and it exports 85% of its products to EU countries, allocating the rest to the domestic market. It generates employment for more than 200 people in warehouses and another 300 in the partners' farms.
During his visit to the Region, the Minister of Agriculture highlighted "the vitality, strength and competitiveness of the Murcian agri-food sector; the spearhead of Spanish production and exports, mainly in the fruit and vegetable sector. The products of Murcia "are fundamental for Spain, the orchard of Europe."
During the visit, Luis Planas said that everything is ready for exports to the United Kingdom to continue normally, thanks to the "significant efforts of the various administrations and the sector. The Brexit agreement has made it possible for Spanish-agri-food exporters to avoid the payment of tariffs, thereby preventing the loss of this market. These tariffs would have amounted to about 950 million Euro."
He also mentioned the new Common Agricultural Policy in Spain and said that "Murcian producers should maximize the possibilities offered by fruit and vegetable producer organizations to receive European funds." Regarding cut flowers and ornamental plants, the Minister reported that they are developing a specific program to support "a sector that deserves recognition" due to the difficult situation it has experienced during this health crisis.
For his part, the president of the Autonomous Region, Fernando López Miras, considered it "essential" to improve the funding for the Common Agricultural Policy, both for the aid for the transitional period and for what is projected for the period from 2023 to 2027. He said that "the new demands arising throughout the European Union after Brexit are putting essential sectors in the Region, such as agriculture and transport, at risk."
Specifically, he said that the Region of Murcia delivers more than 483,000 tons of fruit and vegetables to the United Kingdom each year and more than 235,000 tons of processed products, "all with an economic value of around 750 million Euro." He also pointed out that these goods are transported by more than 36,500 trucks a year.