Argentina fruit growers' roadblock likely to last 2nd day
Argentine fruit growers, angry about production costs and business practices, blocked 62 miles of road Jan. 12 throughout the province of Río Negro in protest, according to national newspaper La Nación.
Growers of pears and apples rallied to protest increased production costs, lower profitability and the lack of transparency in business, according to the Federation of Fruit Growers of Río Negro and Neuquén, as quoted by the newspaper. The group decided to continue the protest for a second day.
“We are enduring a profound structural crisis,” the group said, according to the website.
It urged the national government to implement policies to minimize the negative impact of the constant increase of production costs. The provincial government told national authorities that the fruit sector could have a deficit of US $80 million this season.
The national government promoted a panel, including growers and exporters, to monitor prices in the fruit industry determine profitability and establish measures to guarantee transparency, the newspaper said.
Other unions involved in the fruit industry, including pickers and packers, have not yet resolved a dispute over pay, and hope that the Labor Ministry will mediate before a strike.