Potatoes 617%, artichokes 639% ... so the prices of food from the field to the table soar

The processes of washing, packaging, labeling, storage, transport and distribution multiply by 4.41 times the price of agricultural products in Spain. On his journey from the field to the table, agricultural prices multiplied in February 4.78 times (compared to 4.43 in January) and livestock products, such as meat, eggs and milk, 3.02 times (3.10) in January, according to the last monthly price index at origin and destination (IPOD) prepared by the Agrarian Confederation COAG. In the case of artichokes, potatoes and zucchini, their prices were around 700% more in the store than what the grower receives. The rise in food prices along the food chain has rebounded after two previous months of slowdown in increases and coincides with the mobilizations initiated at the end of January by professional organizations protesting precisely the low prices charged by farmers and ranchers in origin.

The artichokes They starred in the biggest difference in February, by multiplying by 7.39 its cost from the price in the field to the retail price in stores, going from 0.49 euros per kilo at source and sold at destination at an average of 3.62 euros per kilo. On the other hand, the potatoes cost 617% more in store lines than the price paid to farmers in the field, with a price of 0.18 euros per kilo at source and sold at destination at an average of 1.29 euros. Similarly, the prices of zucchini they were revalued 7.10 times from the field to the table, passing of 0.31 euros in origin, up to 2.20 euros at the point of sale to the public, 610% more. On the other hand, garlic, broccoli, onions, cabbage, tangerines and oranges almost sixfold the price from which the farmer perceived on the farm to which consumers paid in stores. In the case of broccoli, the price went from 0.39 euros in origin to 2.71 euros in the field, 595% more.

Rebalance the links

Precisely, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, focused on the "imbalances between farmers and the rest of the food chain" and last February 25 approved, by decree law, the reform of the Law of the Food Chain. The modification establishes the formalization in writing of the sales contracts in which the production costs must appear; too loss sale is prohibited; nor can deceptive promotion campaigns be carried out “because they destroy the reputation and value of the products”, and the discounts and promotions applied by the consumer distribution chains “must be assumed by these companies and will not be accounted for when calculating the cost". This measure satisfies, in part, the claims of the Spanish field that demands, even, decent, fair and reasonable prices. However, as Miguel Blanco explained to LA RAZÓN, general secretary of COAG, “Rebalancing the forces of the chain links is not done overnight”I regretted. These measures in the long and medium term "are fine" but the field still urgently needs short-term actions that "cut the bleeding" experienced by the Spanish agricultural sector, which has lost more than 80,000 Social Security contributors in recent 10 years, Miguel Blanco warned.

What Planas could not explain is how the Government will prevent the final price from triggering and impacting on the consumer. "If we each assume our responsibility within the chain, I think it is possible that consumer prices do not increase and that at the same time there is a better redistribution for farmers and winners," he insisted. For its part, COAG also stated that the price of food should not be affected by the measures taken by the Government. Nevertheless, the products have already suffered an increase coinciding with the beginning of the agricultural protests and it is not ruled out that the increase can continue during the next months.


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