The Farmer’s Union UPA yesterday handed out 4,000 kilos of tomatoes outside a large supermarket in Granada as a protest against the low prices being set by retail outlets, a policy the farmers describe as ‘abusive’.
The tomatoes were from the warehouses of Zafarraya in Granada province where farmers are losing as much as €350,000 per day and 40% of the crop could be thrown away.
The farmers receice between 8 cents and 10 cents per kilo from the large retail companies, whereas it costs 15 cents to collect the tomatoes and 27 cents to actually produce them. In addition, the big companies are taking longer to pay the producers, up to 120 days in some cases.
All this means that the farmers are not only unable to cover their costs but are also unable to set aside funds for the next season. The UPA has expressed a willingness to carry out these protests on a weekly basis at different retail outlets to ensure the survival of the sector.