On March 11, UPA Huelva released a press release denouncing a price war to take over the consumer market, affecting agricultural and livestock products. The organization is conducting a continuous market study of which agents respect farmers' prices and which ones try to impose lower prices.
UPA Huelva has already released a press release about how the weather has affected the campaign. The storm in early January and the lack of hours of sunlight have delayed the vegetative growth of strawberry plants and there has been a shortage of product on the market. However, the good weather of the last three weeks has allowed plants to reach their full capacity and the markets are already supplied.
Purchasing managers and settlers are taking advantage of this rapid recovery saying the market lacks the ability to absorb so much production, playing with the product's perishability to try to lower the price paid to producers. In summary, if they pay the strawberry at € 1.20/kg (which does not cover production costs) they don't complain about market saturation, but if they are asked to pay it at € 1.40/kg they say the market is saturated.
UPA Huelva is not willing to allow this type of aggressive speculation. This argument makes no sense because French and Italian strawberries haven't entered production yet and European consumers are still consuming strawberries from Huelva. It's unacceptable that our producers are threatened by this type of argument so that a few increase their profits.
UPA Huelva has been denouncing this situation for 5 years, which has been getting worse campaign after campaign. Farmers need to finance themselves to assume costs that increase every year, while speculators push harder to pay lower and lower prices at source to expand their profit margins. The novelty at this point in the campaign is that they use the false argument of market saturation to maintain low prices.
Other agricultural organizations are also publicly denouncing the matter and UPA Huelva welcomes them.
The market isn't saturated with strawberries. It is saturated with speculators. The only measures to avoid prices from falling are uniting the sector so it doesn't yield to the speculators' pressure, and having a Food Chain Law that defends producers of this type of abuse.
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