The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has committed to “strengthen the Food Chain Law” in the midst of protests in the sector. This is one of the requests of the agricultural associations. This Law has been in force for just over a year and seeks to prevent producers from selling for less money than it costs them to produce, but the field complains that the inspections and sanctions are insufficient. In addition, Sánchez has advocated simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and establishing mirror clauses in international trade agreements.
Also during the Government Control Session in Congress, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, assured that “this is the Government that best understands the farmers and ranchers of Spain in this century” and recalled that The PP opposed the Chain Law that it now asks to reform.
Like Sánchez, Planas has stated that the Government “listens and understands the problems” of farmers and ranchers and that in the last two years aid worth 4,000 million euros has been approved.
“We need a generational change,” said Planas, and for the sector to be “profitable in a complicated situation.” “But the situation in the countryside is not a reason to fuel the conflict” in a context “where the autonomous communities governed by the PP have put zero euros” in aid to the countryside. “You have delivered four councils to Vox, its soul and its ideology.”
Planas has defended the Chain Law which, for example, has caused the price of cow’s milk to go from 0.35 euros per liter for farmers before its approval, to 0.56 euros in November 2023, the maximum payment level in all of Europe. “It is the work of these ranchers,” she recalled. Furthermore, he has pointed out that agricultural insurance has gone from 200 to 280 million euros and that it was the PP that increased the VAT on meat and fish. “How can they now ask for it to go to zero,” he asked. Furthermore, he has pointed out that France is following, in the agreements it has agreed with agricultural organizations, the model of the Chain Law and the aid that “is already being applied in Spain.”
Vox describes European regulation as “green waste”
After the Control Session, Vox has presented in Congress an urgent question to the Executive about the “measures that it will promote to safeguard the interests of the Spanish countryside and guarantee the freedom and viability of our primary sector in the face of community impositions and competition disloyal foreigner.” In his speech, Vox deputy Ricardo Chamorro described European legislation as “green trash” and as “a system of hyperregulation based on climate fanaticism.”
In his response, Planas has criticized Vox for “preaching autarky, of the NODE and black and white in which we were isolated”, when the free trade agreements leave a positive trade balance for the agricultural sector “of 14,000 million euros” .
Planas has described as “intelligent” the decision of the European Commission that its president Ursula Von der Leyen announced this Tuesday to withdraw the regulation on the reduction of phytosanitary uses, because there was no consensus on it. “The Commission should have organized a great European debate”, before its approval, she pointed out.
“The Chain Law that you and the PP did not want to support, in France you are now asking to introduce what the Government included in Spanish legislation, the prohibition of sales at a loss.” He has also highlighted how in Spain agricultural income is growing by 11% at a time of drought. “We are willing to speak in Congress and Senate. I ask you not to manipulate the legitimate concerns of our farmers and ranchers,” Planas requested.