Producers take it for granted that in the future food prices will continue to be more expensive than before and that they will only go down when production costs, considered to be the cause of current inflation, fall.
This was stated this Friday by representatives of the main agricultural organisations in their intervention in the conference dedicated to the Spanish food system and organised by the popular group in the Congress of Deputies.
The president of Asaja, Pedro Barato, maintained that food inflation “is here to stay” because “it is not a question of prices, but of costs”, which he estimated will not decrease in the agricultural sector as long as there are increases such as that of the inter-professional minimum wage.
He was against EU strategies that seek to reduce the environmental impact of food and predicted a reduction in agricultural production, an increase in consumer spending, a drop in exports, an increase in imports and a lower Gross Domestic Product (GDP), among other effects.
Barato called for more investment in research and digitalisation, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds and action against drought.
The secretary general of COAG, Miguel Padilla, stressed that food has become more expensive due to higher production costs and bad weather conditions, which have led to a decrease in the supply of many products.
He stressed that 8.7% of agricultural income had been lost in 2022 and doubted that production costs would change much in 2023, a problem exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
“Prices are not going to go backwards”, said Padilla, who called for solutions to increase the purchasing power of consumers “without distorting the chain”.
The secretary general of UPA, Lorenzo Ramos, called for “an end to intermediaries” and the avoidance of low price campaigns which in many cases have led to sales at a loss.
He has once again defended the food chain law and the latest changes introduced, such as the register of contracts and the publication of sanctions.
“The law has to be complied with and we ask industry and distribution for absolute transparency,” Ramos pointed out.
The financial director of Agri-food Cooperatives, Tomás Rojas, called for a better structure in the sector and added that, if the situation is not remedied, “there will be more imbalances in the chain because production will fall and the cost to the consumer will increase even more”.
He warned of the difficulties of entrepreneurship in the countryside and the abandonment of farms without generational replacement, as well as the risk of the entry of investment funds in profitable irrigated crops when most of Spain’s agricultural land is dry.