This year's mango harvest has lasted longer than ever before. Many fruits remain on the trees because of the good temperatures and the absence of significant storms. Many producers were surprised this fortnight when prices at origin went up to 1.75 euro per kilo, i.e. three times higher than just three weeks ago.
Yesterday, agrarian spokespeople highlighted the coincidence of this price increase with the massive mobilization that producers held at the beginning of October at the headquarters of the Commonwealth of Municipalities of the Costa del Sol-Axarquia in Torre del Mar because the fruit was being paid at even less than 50 cents per kilogram. "We know that our province doesn't set prices, but it's important that the entire society is aware of the drama that the primary sector is experiencing," stated Antonio Rodriguez, the secretary of COAG in Malaga.
Many producers had chosen to leave the mango on the trees this autumn because harvesting and packaging the fruit wasn't profitable. Now, the producers that have returned to the farms have found fruits that still haven't ripened. This is not the case for the earliest varieties, which have completely lost the characteristics that make them suitable for marketing through ordinary channels.
Prices have tripled in just three weeks and some farmers have publicly complained that the authorities still haven't been able to find the minimum guaranteed price formula, despite "new laws or attempts to regulate a sector that keeps auctioning downward, as is the case in fish markets."
As the producers and agricultural spokespersons denounced in early October, the drought forced many to purchase vats to supplement irrigation with regenerated water. The drought and the fall in prices that all subtropical varieties have experienced since May have threatened the continuity of the farms in the Axarquia region and other areas of the province.
In this protest, the producers accused the distribution chains of not trickling down to the fields the increases in fruit prices there have been in all medium and large retail stores in recent months.