COAG Andalusia has warned that nearly 2,000 hectares of carrots for industry - mainly - are going to be lost in Andalusia's countryside due to a lack of buyers.
"The farmers who, despite the very high production costs, which have increased to almost 50% since last year, have invested their time, money, and effort in producing an excellent crop of carrots in our region are bewildered by what's happening to them: nobody wants to buy carrots in Andalusia."
COAG had already denounced a similar situation in April 2020, but, on that occasion, with another horticultural product, onions. Now, the same thing is happening again to the carrots. According to regular buyers, the market is saturated.
The agrarian organization is, once again, demanding that the government once and for all regulates the market, which is out of control and in the hands of the most severe speculation. "To achieve this, they must put in place effective control mechanisms that avoid unfair competition, among other measures. Andalusian producers can't sell their carrots and feel that they have been sold and are unprotected," stated Diego Bellido, head of Transformed Products at COAG.
Bellido also said: “The main carrot purchasing markets, which are mainly the Netherlands and Germany, have been self-sufficient for the past 10 years. They have been following a policy in which they collect and store the product in cameras. Thus, they are no longer interested in the carrots from Spain and other countries. France and England have the same policy, so we are destined to plow under the carrots that have been planted in Seville, Cadiz, and Cordoba, which are the largest producing provinces. The harvesting of the carrots that were planted in September/October is already a few weeks late, so producers are losing money every day."
According to COAG's Head of Transformation, "producing one hectare of carrots (not including the harvest) normally costs around €3,500-4,000/hectare. In this campaign, however, the price has increased to €5,000/hectare, without including the price of plowing the land due to the lack of purchase. Since producers have an average of 4 hectares per farm, that means that they are facing losses of €20,000 on average."
So what are contracts good for? "Contracts are absolutely worthless because what they do is delay the collection and begin to make discounts of 30 or 40%. So the numbers no longer add up. They want to buy at a loss at source. They are offering € 0.18/kg and even less. And we are talking about 2,000 hectares throughout Andalusia," stated Diego Bellido.