Free distribution of meat to protest against Sánchez’s policies towards the countryside




The perfect storm that hits the primary sector in which the rising prices of raw materials (feed, phytosanitary products, fertilizers…) with the low remuneration that many producers receive at origin, the greater green demand of the new cap (Common Agricultural Policy) and the complex relationship with the Government of Pedro Sánchez, aggravated by episodes such as the statements by the Minister of Consumption about Spanish meat, have returned farmers and ranchers to the streets. With a calendar of protests that will culminate on March 20 in Madrid, this Thursday it was Soria’s turn. In the central Plaza Mariano Granados in the capital of Soria, farmers from all over the province called by Asaja, have distributed free of charge 2,000 trays of 300 grams of meat – mainly pork – under the motto “Our meat is first class”.

The president of Asaja Soria, Carmelo Gómez, has lamented the suggestion of inputs such as fertilizers, insecticides or «diesel that has become 300 or 400% more expensive » and criticized the statements of the head of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzón “which have hurt us a lot.” In this sense, he recalled that the province of Soria has many livestock farms, a high percentage of which are pig farms. “We feel harmed by these statements”, has pointed.

In this sense, Gómez has also referred to the impact of the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) on the farmer and rancher. Asaja’s representative has not hesitated to speak of “a pressing situation” due to the obstacles that they have argued are standing in their way. «10 or 12 years ago there were between 500,000 and 700,000 sheep in the province of Soria and now, at most, 150,000. In dairy cattle we are the same, we have had up to 5,000 heads and today 100 units. It’s very sad,” he summed up. But for Gómez, what is fundamental is the profitability of agricultural and livestock activities, not so much more or less aid. «You have to look for benefits via non-subsidisable prices, because in the end you end up depending on administrations and, over time, they abandon you », he maintained.

For his part, the president of Asaja Castile and Leon Donaciano Dujo, recalled that the sector was already mobilized in the weeks prior to the outbreak of Covid and that in recent days there have been protest actions in Burgos (January 26) and Salamanca (January 28), among others. “We have carried out this act of protest for the situation that the countryside is experiencing, which has two axes: the lack of profitability and that public administrations respect us, politicians and, above all, the Government of Spain”, pointed out Dujo who does not hesitate to speak of the “criminalization” of livestock activity from the European Union.

In this sense, the head of Asaja Castilla y León, has highlighted that the electricity bill has shot up to 300% due to 100% diesel and between 30 or 40% feed. «Never has seeding been more expensive than this year, there is uncertainty, there is a lack of future and we are even afraid, if a good year does not come with decent prices, the entire agricultural sector will be ruined”, warned Donaciano Dujo, who estimates that planting now supposes a increase of between 15,000 and 20,000 euros.

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