In a meeting with Jorge Garcia Cumbreras, the head of the Miguelines fruit and vegetable company - which has been dedicated to the cultivation of strawberries and blueberries in Palos de la Frontera for more than 50 years–, the president of XHuelva, Joaquin de la Torre, said that XHuelva was committed to establishing tariffs on Moroccan agricultural products to stop the unfair competition against some farmers in the province, such as berry producers.
The representative of XHuelva, who will present his candidacy for the next autonomous and general elections, said that the prices of the products that arrive from Morocco were lower than the production costs in Spain and Huelva because they don't have to comply with the regulations and demands that the European production must follow.
That's why Joaquin has been in favor of setting minimum sales prices to ensure that production costs are covered. "This would allow prolonging the agricultural seasons throughout the whole season, i.e. 9 months without having to cut it to 5 months. This would generate more employment and reduce public spending on aid."
He also advocated protecting Andalusian products with the Denomination of Origin guarantee seal as it would differentiate and highlight the quality of the region's products.
Joaquin de la Torre also demanded modifying the way authorities calculate the berry crops' need for water. "According to the administration, these crops require 4,500 m³ of water per hectare, but the reality is that they need 6,000 m³. This generates a water deficit and as a result, many farms remain uncultivated."
In fact, the supply of water for irrigation is one of the great challenges facing Huelva producers. "Since the works of the San Silvestre tunnel haven't been executed after many years of unfulfilled promises by all administrations, the production of berries in the County has decreased. As a result, the sector is not investing what it could in Huelva to the detriment of the entire province."
"XHuelva will present these measures to the Government Delegation and Sub-delegation so that the regional and central administrations get to know what is really affecting the berry sector in Huelva, which contributes 8% of the Andalusian GDP," De La Torre stressed.