The mobilizations of the camp continue. And with more intensity if possible. This Tuesday (day in which the agrarian organizations meet with the Ministry of Labor), farmers and ranchers have proposed to stop Extremadura to demand a solution a sector in crisis. And they will try with at least six road cuts in the region. Something that will be repeated in different parts of Spain to try to pressure the Government.
One of the scheduled cuts, on the A-5 at the height of Navalmoral de la Mata, hopes to stop the traffic of the road at around eleven in the morning. “We have been losing money for years in which a fair price is not paid for what is produced,” says José Antonio Lorenzo, 47, who has a fruit and vegetable production. A fair price that the sector has claimed for years, although only now it seems that its voice has reached the Administration. “The field has always been very patient. But the situation is already unsustainable, ”explain several farmers in unison.
There are already several hundred farmers and ranchers at the El Cerrillo service station (near Navalmoral) and dozens of tractors 4 kilometers from there to leave in the next few minutes and cut traffic. The horns and cowbells begin to be heard and amid a cloud of protesters dressed all in yellow vests. A color that gives some fear in the Administration, given the possibility that this movement throughout the country ends up being similar to that of yellow vests in France.
CAP cuts and low prices
Among the main fears or problems in the sector, there are several names of their own: a cut in European aid (the new budget proposes a loss of 14% in the CAP funds), a higher taxation, sale to losses or the rise in the minimum wage . But in the end, the producers summarize it in just one thing: “The problem is not our workers, who have to be paid well because they are one of us. Nor that we have more costs. The problem is that you have to meet some requirements and standards that are not paid later. And in the end what happens is that we consume the products from outside, which do not meet these same requirements, ”Lorenzo adds.
The discussion and sustainability of the field revolves around the fair price of the products, according to the producers themselves. These claim that there is a very low starting price that in the supermarket can grow up to 500%, as in the case of oranges, according to the price index at the origin and destination of the food (IPOD) produced by COAG, a of the agrarian organizations that are being very active in the negotiation with the Government and the protests of the countryside.
In this way, practically all the profit margin is eaten by intermediaries between the producer and the consumer. That is, the possible price increases do not affect the income of the workers. According to this index, the orange leaves the field at 0.25 euros per kilo and is sold to the consumer at 1.60. The potato, from 0.17 euros a kilo to 1.25. Broccoli, one of the important productions in the Extremadura countryside, rises for example 429% according to the index.
12 roads cut
Extremadura farmers plan to cut 12 roads in many other parts of the region, with the aim of drawing attention to the problems that this sector is suffering, and demanding fair prices for their productions. The APAG Extremadura Asaja, Asaja Extremadura, UPA-UCE Extremadura and COAG organizations call this protest, which is scheduled to begin around 10:00 on Tuesday, with intermittent traffic cuts in various parts of the region.
Specifically, the Government Delegation has authorized twelve highway cuts, seven of them in the province of Badajoz, and five in the province of Cáceres. In the case of the province of Badajoz, the cuts will take place on the N-432 (Km 131-132) at the intersection of Berlanga and Valverde de Llerena; on the N-430 (KM 183) in the port of Los Carneros; on the A-66 (Exit 648 towards Sevilla) Almendralejo Norte; on the N-435 road (crossing with EX101) Fregenal de la Sierra; on Ex 104 (Cabeza del Buey) at the crossroads of Benalcázar-Pozoblanco, and on the A-5 (km 407) Badajoz, at the height of the El Faro Shopping Center.
The cuts planned on the motorways, specifically the A-66 and A-5, will only be affected in one direction, in the direction of Seville and Lisbon respectively, with cuts of ten minutes every half hour, between 11.00 and 13, 00 hours
For its part, in the province of Cáceres, the authorized cuts will be on the A-5 at the height of Navalmoral de la Mata, at the Peraleda crossing; on the A-66, at the height of Hervás and also at the exit of Casar de Cáceres, at the height of El Gallo; on the N-521, in Valencia de Alcántara (border with Portugal) and the EX A1 (Autonomous Highway) at the height of Coria. Thus, at the points indicated on the EX-A1 motorways and on the A-66, the cuts will take place in a single direction, in the direction of Plasencia and Sevilla respectively, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., although the point of Court located in Hervás, will be extended from 12.00 to 14:00, as established by the Government Delegation.
In the case of conventional roads may be partial cuts at intervals of 10 minutes for a maximum time of five hours, between 10.00 and 15.00. Mobilizations whose main claim is to have “fair prices” for the field, as well as “there is not a single euro cut” in the budget of the CAP, according to APAG President Extremadura Asaja, Juan Metidiri.
The agrarian leader has also requested the creation of a Technical Board in order to “avoid” administrative duplicity and the costs or “extra costs” that farmers and ranchers “have to endure”, as well as a “forceful” foreign policy with the objective of carrying out traceability treatments in productions. It also alludes to the situation that farmers currently suffer with tariffs, since “the big ones hurt” are “the producers”.