Protests by farmers at the Port of Castellón

Yesterday, Thursday 15 February, one of the farmers' mobilisations took place in the Port of Castellón, convened by the main associations and cooperatives in the sector. Protests by Valencian farmers have reached a peak, marking a cry of desperation against unfair competition and lack of support from institutions. In this article, we explore the demands, challenges and struggles of the agricultural sector in the Comunitat Valenciana.

Unfair competition and pests: An imminent threat

Representatives of the main agricultural organisations, backed by agri-food cooperatives, held a joint protest in the port of Castellón. They denounced unfair competition and the entry of pests and diseases into the agricultural sector. In addition, in view of the spread of the false moth, approximately 200 farmers have urged that cold treatment be extended to all susceptible crops and that more inspections be carried out in the countries of origin.

Demands and calls for action

The agricultural associations urge the European Union and the Spanish government to prioritise agriculture over environmental regulations, based on scientific criteria. They demand strong measures to curb trade abuses and low prices, including strict compliance with the Food Chain Law.

Farmers are also demanding immediate solutions and criticising the Spanish government's inaction. They demand that the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, go to Brussels and bring tangible results.

The demands to the Generalitat were also heard. The recent refusal of the Government of the Generalitat Valenciana to approve budget amendments proposed by the agrarian associations has generated discontent. The aim was to allocate almost 10 million euros to support farmers and stockbreeders.

Commitments and responses

The president of the Port Authority of Castellón, Rubén Ibáñez, joins the protest and promises to review the subsidies for productive sectors, such as citrus fruits. Ibáñez stresses the willingness to dialogue with the agricultural organisations and points out that the next Business Plan could address these concerns.

Other challenges and needs of the sector

Farmers stress the importance of a coordinated and effective animal health policy and the need to increase the budget for agricultural insurance.

On the other hand, there are also calls for mechanisms to incorporate young people into the agricultural sector and to curb speculation in the purchase of land by external investment funds.

Protestas de agricultores en el Puerto de Castellón

Other links to the news:

Onda Cero

Cadena Ser

Fotografias EFE/Andreu Esteban