Spain: AVA-ASAJA files complaint against Lidl over low watermelon prices
Spain's Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) has filed a complaint to investigate and sanction Lidl stores for its low-priced promotion of domestically-grown watermelon.
The discount supermarket chain is selling Spanish seedless watermelon with a 40 percent discount at just €0.29 (US$0.34) per kilogram, which AVA-ASAJA says "doesn't cover supply chain costs and can therefore incur a presumed sale at a loss". (remember here the quotation marks would go inside the period).
The farming association also objected to the German-headquartered business for the sale of the Spanish Piel de Sapo melon at €0.45 (US$0.53) per kilogram, a 34 percent discount.
"These prices are a scandal because after taking away the costs of handling and preparation, transportation, distribution to the shelf and the benefits of Lidl, the farmer doesn't have anything left," AVA-ASAJA's president Cristóbal Aguado said.
"Along with this type of abusive campaign, large distribution has exploited the economic viability of the crop for the final stretch of the season, which has been a real disaster from the beginning between imports and the brake on our exports to Europe."
He urged the Food Information and Control Agency (AICA) to investigate and "give an appropriate punishment to practices that violate the Food Chain Law, which was approved last year".
"All links in the chain must receive fair compensation. Nobody, least of all the producer who is the one the rest rely on, should have their back against the wall," he said.
He said with these prices, it is impossible for farmers to carry out their jobs.
"Due to the continued lack of profitability, this fruit has gone from being a characteristic crop of Valencian agriculture to having a residual presence," Aguado added.
The complaints were submitted to AICA, a body that is part of the Ministry of Agriculture.