The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, said Thursday that Spain “is insisting near the European Commission” so that there is an “effective control” of the Community regulations regarding the entry of fruit and vegetable products from third countries so that, among other aspects, “reference prices are effectively monitored”.
This has been the reaction of Planas to the protests of the agricultural sector of the past days, the last one of them this Thursday in Jaén, due to the price crisis that occurs in the primary sector and which, in the case of fruits and vegetables, has been declared “structural” by producer organizations.
During a visit to a farm in Níjar (Almería), Planas has recognized that the country exports “more than half” of its products from the agri-food sector and, therefore, it must “open new markets”, although it has also considered that it is necessary for Community legislation to be complied “strictly” with regard to product labeling and compliance with phytosanitary rules.
The head of Agriculture has added that «Spain is insisting near the European Commission so that it does it especially in the sector of fruits and vegetables, particularly, and in the group of the sectors ». In this regard, the head of Agriculture has referred to the need for the entry reference prices of product, as is the case of tomatoes from non-EU countries, are met.
In the same way, he pointed out that “occasionally” It is necessary to remind the Commission of the application of the rules so that they reach the member states that have to implement them, since these products are received across the different borders. «I think that way, who exports to Spain He will do it in full legality and we also logically have to defend our provision in other markets, ”he said.
Regarding the demonstrations made in recent days in places like Don Benito (Badajoz) or Almería, Planas has recognized the “Concern” of producers for prices, whose situation is “complicated” and derives from other “many factors” such as “climatology” or “market situation.”
«We have to be able to structure, dand improve the organization of the sector to effectively ensure that the structuring of the offer, also through agrifood cooperatives, professional fruit and vegetable organizations and also interprofessional organizations, can improve, ”he said, according to this issue.
Along with these problems, Planas has identified other “uncertainty factors” that accompany the price crisis, among which the negotiation of the new CAP has been pointed out, which will be discussed on February 20 in Brussels, where the president of the Government will travel; the tariffs imposed by the United States and the application of Brexit as of January next year once the moratorium is met.
«Faced with this concern only responds with effort, joint work, dialogue and rationality », said the minister, who has reviewed the agenda of meetings he held the first week as a minister to stage the need to “work together” to “move forward” agriculture, which is “one of the great assets of Spain.” «I think the future is bright, but for this we have to row all in the same direction »He has apostilled.
On the other hand, Planas has again referred to the application of minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) in the sector. “We are one of the 12 richest countries in the world and we are in eighth place in the EU in terms of the amount of the minimum interprofessional salary, which is not the problem,” he said.
For the state responsible for Agriculture, the application of SMI is «Perfectly acceptable» Therefore, it has encouraged employers and employee representatives to “reach an agreement” to give “the same dignity” to the farm worker as to the service sector in places such as Almeria, where the current collective agreement concluded in 2015 and is pending update.