The olive sector has taken to the streets this Thursday, through the associations Asaja, COAG, UPA and Cooperativa Agroalimentarias, through the center of Madrid to denounce the "Tremendous crisis" through which more than 250,000 families of producers go through and that has its origin, according to the organizers of the march, in the low prices of olive oil in origin that cause them losses and the possibility that, as of October 18, Trump imposes on this product an additional 25% tariff for a dispute originating in the aeronautical sector.
They have come to the capital more than 10,000 olive growers from Andalusia, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Aragon, Valencian Community, Murcia, La Rioja and Catalonia who have traveled the streets to the doors of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under the slogan «Fair prices for a live olive grove». The objective is none other than to claim a series of measures that allow price rises at source and guarantee a "dignified" future for the traditional olive grove.
Although Spain is the leading producer of olive oil worldwide, it has with the lowest origin prices in the European Union, even reaching below production costs (the weighted average cost of olive oil production in Spain, according to the International Olive Council, was already established in 2015 at 2.75 euros per kilo of average oil).
Storage and self-regulation
During the demonstration, the president of Asaja, Pedro Barato, affirmed that the olive grove sector is going through a “tremendous crisis” and that it is time to act, so that political will see the light in storage and self-regulation.
In this regard, Cheap has ironic saying that «it is very fashionable to make decrees laws for many things, and we too we demand a decree law: that a product that is made in the field cannot be sold below the value at which it costs us to produce it ».
For his part, the president of the olive oil sector of agri-food cooperatives, Rafael Sánchez Puerta, has valued the union of the sector in the demonstration, sinceThe year is being "very complicated" in terms of prices, so agencies are needed to adapt supply and demand.
Regarding the United States tariffs, Sánchez Puerta has indicated that complicate the situation, since it is a country where more than 200 million kilos of agrifood products were sold, which means a "lethal" loss for the sector and shows the disadvantage of Spain compared to other European countries.
Price drop of 26% in 2018
The sector recalls that in 2018 there was already a 26% drop in prices, at an average of 3.53 euros per kilo, according to data from the Observatory of Prices and Markets of the Ministry of Agriculture of Andalusia, and the downtrend has continued during 2019, to stand at 44% less (from 3.53 euros per kilo in June 2018 at prices below the current two euros per kilo, below production costs, 2.75 euros per kilo), at a international context of lower production, mainly in non-EU countries.
The protesters have sued Regulatory instruments on the market so that they "don't get ruined" in times of price declines, as well as excessive increases that the consumer cannot pay.
For his part, the Secretary General of COAG, Miguel Blanco, has denounced that in the last campaign the olive growers have been removed more than 1,000 million euros, because "the packaging industry speculates on prices for its own interests, manipulating prices and quantities without control by the public administration."
Criticisms of distribution
Added to all this, according to the sector, the unfair commercial practices of the distribution chains that use olive oil as a claim product, «Throwing the image of a product of excellence on the ground and contributing to the downward trend in prices ».
«This situation threatens the viability of traditional olive groves and puts at risk the way of life of more than 250,000 families and hundreds of municipalities that live directly and indirectly from this crop ”, have denounced.
The cultivation area dedicated to olive groves in Spain rises to 2.6 million hectares, distributed in more than 400,000 farms. This crop maintains 15,000 jobs in the industry and generates more than 50 million wages per campaign
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