Spanish union calls out non-payment for citrus

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Spanish union calls out non-payment for citrus

Spanish labor union La Unió de Llauradors has denounced what it calls "commercial malpractice" from citrus buyers working with producers in Valencia.oranges_ffp

According to a union press release, there has been an increase in non-payment and bankruptcy proceedings throughout the sector.

"There are repeated instances of commercial operators that have paid off harvests taken from producers from last season through long-term promissory notes. They take up to a year to collect them," the organization said.

La Unió provided the example of a farmer receiving a bank note in April for payment of the crop on Jan. 31 of the next year. This year, the organization said payment has been scheduled for Dec. 31.

It called the situation a "tax trap" to avoid withholdings.

"La Unió demands that the government pursue and monitor these business practices and that they subsequently be punished through the withdrawal of public support that the commercial firm may receive or even suspension of their license to operate," the organization said.

Union secretary general Ramón Mampel said that there was a lot of audacity in the industry that, "plays with farmer money to keep commercial firms afloat."

"If we fall into this practice again from the rush to get to market, we can hurt the campaign. The government has to monitor collection and marketing carefully for fruit that goes out."

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