Wine grape harvest drops by 30% and production costs soar in C.Valenciana
The first estimates of La Unió de Llauradors foresee a wine grape campaign in all the producing areas of the Valencian Community quite bad because the prospects of a 30% harvest reduction must be added to the brutal increase in the costs of production. However, it should be noted that the grapes in this campaign have a high quality.
The drought, the excessive humidity in spring and the intense pedriscos have made that, in general terms, this lower harvest is expected and that in some producing areas still falls more. The problem is that these crops have been dragging down for more than three campaigns.
As for the prices received by the producer there are few operations and those that exist are for white varieties, with prices between 0.15 and 0.18 €/kg, slightly higher by 7% than those of the last season, but totally insufficient. This small increase in the average price will by no means compensate for the significant reduction in the harvest, so a simple calculation made by the technical services of LA UNIÓ results in that producers’ income will decrease by more than €11 million over the last year.
n this sense the average price perceived by Valencian wine grape producers is the lowest in Spain and is 33% below a Catalan producer or 95% less than what an Extremaduran will perceive. Compared to the commercial models of other autonomous communities, the differences are even more abysmal, Thus for example with respect to a Rioja or Castilian producer, Valencians will receive this campaign 79% less or if we compare them with the Galicians this difference increases to 90%.
In relation to production costs, a recent study by LA UNIÓ estimated the same in the Region of Valencia during this campaign at 0.36 €/kg. With this data Valencian producers lose a little more than 800 € per ha, which means that «have become de facto day labourers on their farms and the income they generate is derived from their direct work and not from their activity as an employer».
Luis Javier Navarro, Deputy Secretary General of LA UNIÓ de Llauradors, indicates that «the Food Chain Law is to be fulfilled and it is not acceptable for farmers to receive prices, after sweat and effort throughout the year, below what it costs us to produce. We must put an end to this situation, which is happening in no sector other than agriculture, and demand a fair price». In this sense, LA UNIÓ calls on winegrowers to formalize written contracts for the sale of grapes with the establishment of specific qualities, prices and conditions, and informs of the obligation of the wineries to pay the grapes to the winegrowers to 30 days according to the current law of late payment, regardless of the date of qualification of the wine by a Designation of Origin.
Other proposals of LA UNIÓ happen because the aids established by the Ministry of Agriculture to mitigate the effects of the war in Ukraine contemplate the wine sector and also because the agricultural insurance line does not have as much franchise in the coverage against fire and fauna.