Lack of seasonal workers could lead to rotting harvests and food price hikes on the Costa Blanca, warns agricultural sector

A LACK of season workers means almost half of Alicante’s crops may be left to rot, resulting in sparse supermarket shelves and inevitable price hikes, warns the agricultural sector.

The restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 State of Alarm has led to a significant drop in migrant workers, who are confined to their homes or cannot travel from Romania, Poland and Morocco as the borders are closed.

Asaja-Alicante estimates 60 per cent of the jobs generated by the harvesting of fruit and vegetables have yet to be filled in the countryside, which threatens to leave 40 per cent of the produce unharvested, leaving supermarkets empty and therefore making the product more expensive.

To try to alleviate the problem, Asaja is calling for flexibility in the conditions of the ERTE, so that workers from other affected sectors can help work in the campo.

At the moment, at stake are stone fruits which need be harvested.

But from May, Asaja fears melons, medlars, nectarines, apricots, cherries will be at risk.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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