By John Ensor •
Published: 01 Feb 2024 • 20:14
A farmer protests in the Netherlands.
Credit: Steve Photography/Shutterstock.com
The agricultural unrest that has swept across Europe has reached a critical point, but could a compromise be in sight for Spanish farmers?
On Friday, February 2, a crucial meeting will take place between Spain’s leading agricultural organisations and Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture. This pivotal dialogue aims to address the escalating rural conflict in Europe.
Set for tomorrow in Madrid, representatives from the Coordinator of Farmers and Livestock Organizations (COAG), the Agrarian Association of Young Farmers (ASAJA), and the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA) will put forward their frustrations and demands to Minister Planas.
The backdrop of this meeting is the growing unrest among farmers, with tractors rolling out in protest across Spain, voicing opposition to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), import competition, and soaring costs.
COAG’s primary demand involves simplifying and making the CAP more flexible, as Miguel Padilla, the organisation’s secretary general, highlights. ‘Even if there is a small drop, it is not enough. There are prices that are below production costs and that is one of the concerns we have,’ explains Padilla.
The group is also pushing for an import observatory to bring ‘transparency in this issue that concerns us.’
Further, COAG advocates for the strengthening of the Food Chain Law. ‘It is an instrument that we have defended and defended but it does not fulfil the functions that we would like and the majority of productions do not,’ Padilla states, emphasizing the need for improvements to ensure prices cover production costs.
Agricultural insurance, crucial in the face of climate change, is also on their agenda, seeking a revamp to enhance its effectiveness.
ASAJA’s focus is on international relations, particularly responding to criticisms from French farmers.
The words of a reporter from the BFM channel went viral this week, who went on to describe Spanish mandarins as ‘disgusting,’ ‘inedible,’ of ‘poor quality.’
They urge President Pedro Sanchez to take a strong stance against what they see as baseless accusations. ASAJA insists on a united and coherent response from Spanish institutions to defend national agriculture.
The UPA’s Montse Cortiñas calls for adherence to rules ensuring the free circulation of goods. ‘We cannot see our products thrown away and that our productions and our transporters be treated like this.
We want the mechanisms that ensure free circulation of merchandise, which at the moment is not being done,’ she stated.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When are roads opening? I have some important people to me stuck in Spain who need to go back to Portugal.
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