The fruit and vegetable sector lives, day after day, protests in our country with roadblock that, in the other hand, have been developed without incidents beyond what is expected in kind of these situations. Retentions that reach several kilometers and alternative deviations enabled by the police.
In the image taken from the Vanguardia newspaper you can see some growers who set fire to piles of plastic boxes to generate barricades, forcing firefighters to intervene.
Why these protests?
The European Union is discussing European budgets proposing cuts to cohesion funds and the Common Agricultural Policy (PAC). A proposal that the Spanish Government considers “highly disappointing” and has reason to do so: Spain could lose over 900 million per year in aid from Brussels.
The PAC includes both policy financing and direct payments to beneficiaries. It is estimated to absorb 40% of the Community budget, making it one of the most important items in Brussels’ funds.
This foreseeable cut is joined by the growers previous concern due to various factors, such as the 3 strong increases in the National Minimum Wage over the past 3 years and other costs such as fuels and chemical products against stagnant prices of its products. Also, the incorporation to the market of products from third countries under different conditions in terms of quality, food safety and working conditions.
In the next days it will be the growers from Jaén (February 24th, ), Seville and Alicante (February 25th, ), León and Santander (28th, February) who will demonstrate, while in the first half of March there will be demostrations in Ponferrada (March 2nd, ), Huelva (March 5th ) and the Canary Islands (March 14th), according to a joint communication reported by the growers’ associations COAG, ASAJA and UPA.