The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planashas summoned the agricultural employers’ associations, Agrarian Association of Young Farmers (Asaja), Coordinator of Farmers’ Organizations and Ranchers (COAG) and Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA), to a meeting at the Ministry headquarters this Friday in an attempt to appease the possible sum of the farmers to the protests that have been taking place in France for a week. The meeting to be held this Friday thus responds to the request raised in a joint letter from the three majority organizations in the sector to meet to reach “immediate” solutions. Asaja, COAG and UPA hope to address the problems plaguing the sector, from the consequences of the drought and war in Ukraine, to production prices and costs and the flexibility of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and labor issues.
The Ministry has convened the main agricultural organizations in the country a day after announce the return of a calendar of mobilizations in the streets in different autonomous communities. Although there are still no specific dates or places, the Union of Farmers and Ranchers Unions had already called for a tractor rally in Madrid on February 21 to denounce the “critical” situation that the countryside is going through. It is the same association that brought together several hundred farm workers and 150 tractors from different parts of the country in the center of the capital on July 5 to demand the same measures from the Government that they demand today. In the previous months of the pandemic, farmers took their tractors to the streets of the main agricultural and livestock communities to demand a better redistribution of costs throughout the entire chain, an action that led to the reform of the law of the Food chain.
Asaja, COAG and UPA agreed this Tuesday to carry out protest events “at a more regional level during the coming weeks.” The agrarian organizations have accumulated the demands of the previous demonstrations and They have extended them to the European and non-EU sphere, just as French farmers have done. In this sense, the three associations demand the suspension of negotiations on agreements such as Mercosur, the non-ratification of the agreement with New Zealand and that the negotiations held by the European Commission with Chile, Kenya, Mexico, India and Australia be stopped. At the level of the autonomous communities, they will ask for “urgent reforms” to simplify the bureaucratic procedures that suffocate professionals in the field.
On the livestock side there are also demands. In their case, animal health issues are leading them to a critical situation, hence Call for a “coordinated, consistent and coherent” animal health policy that helps professionals in the field and does not sink them.” At the same time, they ask for the reinforcement of the budget for agricultural insurance so that it adapts to the structural situation represented by droughts and other adverse meteorological phenomena, which are increasingly recurrent due to the climate change.