Last month was disastrous for the economy of blueberry farmers in the province of Huelva. According to the price observatory of the Junta de Andalucia, there's been a 29.32% drop in the last two weeks. Meanwhile, producers in the field report higher falls in real-time, as they are already being paid less than €2.50/kg, which implies there's been a 54% fall in the last month and that production costs cannot be covered.
UPA Huelva has pointed out that farmers in the province are experiencing a general increase in production costs. The production cost of berries, in particular, has increased by more than 30% on average. This should mean that farmers would pass this cost increase on to the price they receive for the product. In practice, however, this is not the case.
Moreover, the consumer price index in supermarkets and large areas has increased by almost 9% and customers now pay on average between €10.00 and €13.00 per kilogram of blueberries, i.e. approximately 400% more than what farmers are paid for them, according to UPA Huelva.
This scenario has led UPA Huelva to wonder: If consumers are paying more and farmers aren't being paid more, who's taking the money?
According to the Food Chain Law, the buyer will always be responsible for paying a fair price, UPA Huelva stated. This was done to protect the weakest link: the farmer. However, if the administration does not provide the means to enforce the law and if authorities don't inspect and punish people, this law won't serve any purpose.
UPA Huelva wants to send a message about the need to denounce the violations of the Food Chain Law as a measure to start changing the market, which is so unfair to farmers. That is why it has called farmers, cattle ranchers, cooperatives, sat, etc., to join forces, denounce speculators, and enforce the law.
To this end, UPA Huelva has made its legal office available to all of them so they can defend and protect their trademarks, denounce the breaches through the organization, and request sanctions. They encourage them to contact UPA Huelva and join efforts. Their collaboration is essential so that the claims are made properly and can be successful.
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