Friday, December 3

A field jaded by the Government joins the transporters and calls their own mobilizations




The ‘tsunami’ of social unrest begins to take shape, to the concern of the Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. As ABC advanced, the three main agricultural organizations Asaja, COAG and UPA They were considering this week joining the carrier strike on December 20-22. This Thursday they have made the decision to join this mobilization, which makes it the largest protest in the Spanish countryside since the beginning of 2020 and a clear challenge to the Executive. Farmers and ranchers will stop to protest against the runaway prices of fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural diesel, feed and, above all, electricity. Production costs that continue to escalate and that endanger the survival of hundreds of farms.

As the first appointment within the protests, the fruit and vegetable sector will gather on November 24 before the Ministry of Agriculture. Later, the agrarian organizations will specify the calls in the near future, but they have already announced that they will be held in many parts of the national territory during December and some of them will coincide with those announced by the transporters, with whom they claim to share “some of the demands” .

As an example of all the above, according to Asaja, only the fertilizers have seen their price skyrocket in the last year between 239 and 307%. The same happens with seeds, which in the case of wheat went from a price of 335 euros / ton to 400 euros / ton, 19% more, according to this producer organization. For his part, agricultural diesel It has become almost 73% more expensive while feed for livestock has skyrocketed between October 2020 and last month by 27%. Electric energy, according to Asaja, has become more expensive for farmers and ranchers by 270%, plastics by 46%, water by 33% and machinery between 10 and 25%.

The union of transporters and farmers is a major headache for the Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas, which is today in Tolouse (France) for the commemorative act of the 60th anniversary of the Spanish-French-Andorran meeting on Animal and Plant Health. The main agricultural organizations (Asaja, COAG and UPA) sent him a letter last November 11 in which they asked for an urgent meeting to implement an emergency plan to alleviate this situation. A few days before, Asaja, already sent another letter requesting an appointment with the socialist minister.

Sources from this department, to questions from ABC, pointed out that it is being done «Constant monitoring of the situation. The dialogue is fluid and continuous » In this sense, they added, that agrarian organizations will be received “as soon as there is an opportunity” and recalled that “the minister met in person with them in October” although it was produced to inform them about the new PAC (Agrarian Policy Common).

Added to this is the anger of the sector at the slowness in the approval of the reform of the Chain Law in the Senate. The rule has already passed its processing in the Senate, but now it must return to Congress.

The growing gap between the field and Sánchez

In any case, the reasons that fueled the large mobilizations of early 2020 – who toured all of Spain and forced an ‘express’ reform of the Food Chain Law that now faces a profound review in the Senate – remain intact. Production costs continue to rise, accentuated by inflation, prices at origin are still insufficient to cover the former despite the new regulations and, above all, the gap between the field and the government It has not stopped getting bigger.

The controversies have been accumulating almost from the first day of the current Executive, to the regret of the minister Luis Planas that has been seen in the position of having to disavow some other colleague of the Council of Ministers: the controversial statements of the head of Consumption
Alberto Garzon
on meat, the protection of the wolf promoted by the Ecological Transition of Teresa Ribera, the tense relationship of the Ministry of Labor of Yolanda Diaz with part of the sector on account of some actions of the Labor Inspectorate (the high point was reached in May 2020 with the leak of a manual in which inspectors were urged to detect “cases of labor exploitation” or “slavery », A reference that raised the indignation of many farmers); as well as the VAT increase on sugary and sweetened beverages from 10 to 21% approved in the General Budgets of 2021 with which the Minister of Finance Maria Jesus Montero It sought to raise 400 million euros and that led to the rebellion of the sugar sector with the Junta de Castilla y León at the head. With the step taken today by agricultural organizations, the gap widens.

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