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Deep crisis for Spanish olive oil sector

After the great mobilization of Jaen and Cordoba there will be follow in Toledo and Merida. Producers want EU activates the private storage measures and sanctions against retailers

Growers, millers, representatives of the olive-growing cooperative. All protest to claim support for the sector experiencing a deep crisis.

The first events was held at Jaen, March 18 and in Córdoba, April 1, others will follow in Toledo (April 15) and Merida (April 29).

"We believe that, in every region, we have a massive retaliation - said Sanchez de Puerta, head of the union of cooperatives that issued the events - we need to intervene in support of the price it is now very close to the threshold set by the EU to turn private storage. "

For producers, in fact, the fact that the price has not yet reached 1.79 € / kg, the threshold below which the measure can be turned on, it's just an excuse policy.
Although private storage is only a measure of "short term", the producers of Spain think that the system of review of the price-threshold on an annual basis is wrong and that the private storage can be triggered automatically, not by political decisions in which the oil-producing countries are in the minority in the EU.

But the private storage is only the single most immediate and known. Behind the event there is something else: a growing dislike for the excessive power of large retailers.

The first to speak on this matter was Miguel Lopez, secretary Coag (proiduttori union of Spaniards) declared to be sanctioned as undercutting and other practices "abusive" that harms the image of olive oil.

Of the same opinion, the President of ASAJA, Pedro Barato, who insisted that the chains "lay down the conditions of sale", while the head of UPA, Lorenzo Ramos, said that producers are "hostages" of a "domain ".

To the producers' associations, in fact, the large retailers, without effective controls, can control the market and prices with the result of not ever reaching a threshold level to trigger the measurement of private storage but remained at very low prices. One thing that seriously damages the olive oli world.

At this rate, the associations claim the Spanish olive, the olive oil sector soon will be in the same situation as that of sugar and not for its structural deficiencies but because of external influences.

by Graziano Alderighi
04 april 2011, World News > Europe

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