Friday, 22 September 2023
WorldThey denounce 'cheating' with the Spanish wine grape

They denounce ‘cheating’ with the Spanish wine grape

Union of Unions of Farmers and Ranchers has denounced that a large part of the wine grapes that farmers are unloading into the hoppers of the wineries during this harvest is delivered with prices below production costs due to pressure from the wineries, according to reports it’s a statement.

The agricultural organization denounces that grape prices are not rising, despite a reduction in the harvest of around 20% and with foreseeable wine production figures of around 35 million hectoliters.

Among the causes of these figures, it is pointed out that this year’s harvest is affected by the severe drought, with increases in production costs of around 30% compared to last season and, despite this, with winegrowers unloading their vineyards to comply with the requirements of harvest regulations in different territories.

In this sense, the organization warns that the problem of poor harvest could increase if during this autumn there is not enough rain, which could cause the death of the vines and the subsequent abandonment of farms by some winegrowers who do not have generational relief.

Only Catalonia covers production costs

By region, Unión de Uniones has indicated that in Castilla-La Mancha (Valdepeñas), Extremadura or Valencia the prices of grapes are lower than those perceived more than 25 years ago.

Thus, in Castilla-La Mancha, prices of 0.36 euros/kilo were recorded for the cencibel with DO Valdepeñas, 0.22 euros/kilo for said variety without DO; 0.20 euros/kilo in the first airén operations, with production costs that are between 0.45 and 0.53 euros/kilo.

In other productive areas, DOCa Rioja (0.75 euros/kilo for ink and 0.60 euros/kilo for white) or Rueda, the wineries are putting pressure on both the yields to be received and the prices to be assumed by the producers, considering the contraction in demand for wine both in domestic markets and in exports.

Only in the Cava DOP, with a planned harvest reduced to half of a normal campaign, the wineries are assuming what is established in the Law to improve the food chain.

Regarding Ribera del Duero (Castilla y León), a short harvest is expected as a result of the various episodes of frost in the provinces of Burgos and Soria. As for prices, minimum prices of 1.25 euros/kilo and maximum prices that could reach, in some items, 2 euros/kilo are being considered, while in the Galician PDOs high prices may be recorded for the godello varieties of the DOP. Monterrei, up to 2 euros/kilo, or in Albariño from the Rías Baixas DOP, 2.60 euros/kilo.

In this context, with a declining offer, with moderate or declining production forecasts in the rest of the EU, the producing sector contemplates the lack of vision of the future of the winery sector, putting the continuity of a good number of farms at risk vineyards in many of the productive areas.

Breach of the Law of the Chain

In this context, Unión de Uniones considers that the abuse of the dominant position of the large winery groups is ending the economic viability of the farms “due to the abandonment of functions” of the Administration that must ensure the interests of the winegrowers. .

The organization regrets that the Ministry itself “is being complicit” in this situation, since the Law on the Food Chain says that Agriculture must publish the criteria on the different factors that intervene in determining the cost of production of agricultural products, fishery and food.

The term you have to publish them depends on the full entry into force of this Law, which, in turn, depends on when certain mechanisms of the Law come into operation (the deadline for publication of said criteria is December 30, 2023 ).

“The Ministry does not have to wait for the final whistle of the game to publish these criteria. Our organization has already addressed Agriculture to ask for speed and they stated that they would comply with the law and that in any case there were already many elements to determine the production costs. Well, then, that they enforce it”, they have pointed out from Unión de Uniones.

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