Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Practically no one has been harvesting and the processing plants have halted their operations:

15,000 people protest in Seville over the water crisis in Huelva, as the sector comes to a standstill

Huelva's agricultural producers have protested in Seville to demand the necessary water infrastructure. Around 15,000 people have taken part in the demonstration, according to the convening agricultural organizations: the Association of Producers and Exporters of Strawberries and Berries from Huelva, Freshuelva, the agricultural organizations Asaja and Upa, Cooperativas Agroalimentarias, the Citrus Growers Association and the Association of Irrigation Communities (Corehu), all from the province of Huelva.

Representatives of the participating organizations highlighted the difficult situation faced by the agricultural sector in Huelva caused by the drought, which has led to 50% water restrictions being implemented in the province, as well as the lack of water infrastructure. These issues have been denounced for decades and have even been mentioned in various hydrological plans but have not been addressed.

The protesters criticized politicians for not complying with the General Interest Law and not completing hydraulic works for more than 20 years. They demanded that the Spanish Government reach an agreement with Portugal on the Albufeira treaty to put the Alcolea dam in operation in the short term.

The protest brought together all sectors and municipalities of Huelva, exceeding initial expectations of 10,000 participants. The protesters aimed to highlight that agriculture is fundamental to the local economy and that the sector failing would affect the entire province and cause the loss of 160,000 direct jobs.

The main demands included the implementation of hydrological plans and the execution of promised works to prevent a catastrophic drought. Protesters also called for stability for the agricultural sector and the protection of jobs related to agriculture, such as the 200,000 jobs generated by the citrus and strawberry sector in the province.

The demonstration by Huelva's producers in Seville was a massive show of discontent over the lack of water infrastructure and political negligence threatening the viability of agriculture and the local economy in the province of Huelva. Protesters demanded immediate action to ensure an adequate water supply and protect the jobs and prosperity of the region.

Meanwhile, in Huelva, there has been a general strike in agriculture. "The strike in the sector has been backed by almost 100% of workers. Virtually no one is harvesting, and the centers where the fruit is stored, handled, and packed are practically inactive, with minimum services to handle calls," says Victoria Martín, from the Marketing and Sales department of the Huelva-based producer and exporter of berries, stone fruit, and citrus Plus Berries. "We want to make ourselves heard because the situation is very difficult," she says.

"There are many possible solutions so that the sector won't be forced to stop cultivating in several areas, which would lead to part of Huelva's production in the European markets being replaced with fruit from third countries that do not comply with the same food safety and sustainability standards," says Victoria Martín.

The value of Spain's berry exports in 2023 (up until November) amounted to 1.620 billion euros, according to data from the Department of Customs and Special Taxes of the Spanish Tax Agency, processed by FEPEX. Huelva accounts for more than 90% of those exports.

Publication date: