The Interprofessional Organization of Fruits and Vegetables of Andalusia (Hortyfruta) held its XIV Ordinary General Assembly in El Ejido in which it presented the actions that it carried out in 2020 and its plans for this year. Some of the most outstanding plans were the establishment of quality standards and the request for the extension of said agreement as a standard for a period of three years.
Hortyfruta has been working on this extension of the standard since the end of last year. To do so, they created a Joint Working Group with the General Directorate of Industries, Innovation, and the Agri-Food Chain of the Board to establish common criteria related to its implementation.
The goal is to face the growing competition caused by imports from third countries, which are making it difficult for the producers to survive, according to the president of Hortyfruta, Francisco Gongora. This requires making an effort to raise quality standards in order to obtain a differentiated product that achieves better market value.
The goal is to apply the extension of the standards to the higher classes and categories for tomato, pepper, cucumber, eggplant, zucchini, green bean, watermelon, and melon, the eight most representative products that are grown in greenhouses.
Plan in motion
The plan, which has already been put in motion, has been designed to be applied at the beginning of the next campaign after summer. In addition, the intention is to extend it to marketing and production agents outside the interprofessional, but with an impact on marketing processes.
The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, Carmen Crespo, was present at the assembly and stated that the extension of the rule was a tool that would allow regulating the market in times of crisis. She also insisted on the need to maintain the funds that farmers and ranchers receive from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
She also referred to other measures that would help farmers deal with the agri-food product price issues that cause imbalances in the sector. Specifically, she spoke about the need for agile crisis management mechanisms and stressed that product recall prices must be consistent with current production costs.