Catalan stone fruit producers have lost 60 million euros this season

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VALENCIA FRUITS.

Afrucat estimates that Spain should reduce its production of peach and nectarine by 15%

stone fruit

Afrucat calculates the losses of stone fruit producers this season at 15 cents per kilo on average.

The Fruit Business Association of Cataluña (Afrucat) has estimated the losses of stone fruit producers this season at 15 cents per kilo on average. This figure indicates that Cataluña has lost 60 million euros through the marketing of peach and nectarine.

According to Manel Simon, general director of Afrucat, “the settlement benefits to be received by producers are just being released and these stand between 0.15 and 0.26 cents per kilo, but if we take into account that production costs have increased by about 3 cents, growers have had an expense of approximately 37 cents per kilo.”

Simon added that, “These figures have been applied to producers with an average cultivated area of 8 hectares, but it should be taken into account that in farms of less than 5 hectares, costs can skyrocket to 50 or 60 cents per kilo and this usually leads to more dramatic situations.”

Before this price crisis, the Government and the sector have begun to study the possibility of increasing the measures of self-regulation provided within the norms of the European Union. Operators and the government are already preparing a strategic plan for the coming seasons.

In this line, Afrucat has presented a proposal obtained from a study made with the data available from recent seasons, and it will be raised at all the discussion tables that are currently being put forward by the administrations. This entails requesting a start-up plan to get Spain to reduce the cultivated area of stone fruit by 15%. Spain has 80,000 hectares that are currently being cultivated under peach and nectarine, 23,000 of them in Cataluña.

This plan, with some financial aid that Afrucat estimates at around 4,500 euros per hectare, should encourage the uprooting of trees and should include the producer’s commitment not to re-plant any variety of stone fruit.

According to the director general of Afrucat, this plan would cost the administration about 55 million euros for the whole of Spain, which would be less than what Cataluña alone has lost in one season.