The 'super' and the industry will pay farmers more for milk

The farmers demand that it cannot be bought below the cost of production and that the law of the food chain is complied with. / Arcadio Suarez

The two sectors will assume part of the increase at the expense of their margins to prevent Canarian cheese from becoming more expensive in the 'super' stores and consumers stop buying it. It is estimated that each will pay 6 cents more per liter

The food distribution sector and the cheese industry yesterday promised to assume "against its margins"
a rise in the price of a liter of milkin order to help the livestock sector of the Canary Islands, which has doubled its production costs in recent months after the rise in electricity, the rise in fodder, fertilizers and the Interprofessional Minimum Wage (SMI) and is suffocated to continue go ahead with the activity.

Practically all of the milk produced on the islands is used for the production of cheese, which is why it is necessary for the cheese industry to step forward to support farmers.

For its part, distribution is also allied with the sector and will assume part of this increase in the price of milk to prevent the final product, Canarian cheeses, from becoming more expensive in the supermarket and consumers stop buying them. “We are at a critical moment to raise the prices of the shopping basket and we are going to avoid it with Canarian cheese”, indicate sources from the distribution sector present at the meeting.

The agreement was closed in a four-way match held today at the headquarters of the Presidency of the Government, sponsored by the president, Ángel Víctor Torres, and in which twenty people from the different affected sectors gathered.

Although the final amount of money that the distribution banners and cheese factories will assume was not outlined at the meeting, it was
e pointed to a figure of about six cents for each. In this way, the farmer will receive twelve cents more per liter of milk, to close to 60 cents compared to the 47-48 that they currently charge and with which they do not cover production costs.

At the meeting it was agreed that this kind of 'Revenue Agreement' will be implemented in stages "in the short, medium and long term", according to sources present at the meeting. In other words, those six cents from each sector will be disbursed little by little and "always taking into account the evolution of the situation." As President Torres indicated during the meeting and according to close sources, the current situation is "supervening" and is a consequence of policies applied by the islands, so that it will be necessary to monitor how events evolve to analyze the measures.

The distribution sector was represented at the meeting with the brands
Hiperdino, Spar, Mercadona, Lidl, Carrefour, El Corte Ingles and Alcampo. In addition, the general secretary of the Association of Large and Medium Distribution Companies of the Canary Islands (Asodiscan), Alfredo Medina, was present. On the farmers' side were the president of the COAG, Rafael Hernández, and the manager of the Gran Canaria Livestock Cooperative Society, Nicolás Eladio Pérez, as well as the person in charge of the
Industry Flor Valsequillo Cheesewhich is the main buyer of milk produced on the islands.

Main problem for farmers

Close sources assure that the main problem of farmers with the price of milk lies in this industry that sets a price that does not cover production costs. "The problem is not so much with the distribution that they sell at the price that is set for them," they point out.

As Pérez indicated yesterday, Flor Valsequillo Cheese
the price has risen in the last two months who pays 2-3 cents a liter of milk
but it is still insufficient to cover production costs. "The ranchers have become losers and measures are taken or in three or six months the ranchers are going to disappear," Hernández said.

The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torresstressed after the meeting that despite the "complexity" of the meeting, he left "happy" with the progress made and the willingness of the sectors to contribute to help the livestock sector of the islands.

From now on, the sectors will meet again with certain periodicity -the next meeting will be in June- to continue advancing in the agreements. In addition, the Government of the Canary Islands, through the company GMR, linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, will launch an ambitious
advertising campaign andn media to promote the island's cheeses.

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