Spain: Farmers denounce Lidl for lowering orange prices
The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-Asaja) filed a complaint with the Food Information and Control Agency (AICA) against the supermarket chain Lidl.
AVA-Asaja denounced Lidl "for using the Spanish orange as a decoy product and contributing to aggravate the profitability crisis that farmers have been going through since the start of the citrus campaign".
The complaint comes as Lidl launched a promotion which sells the Navelina variety of Spanish origin at €0.80 per kilogram, which "provoke value destruction in the food chain".
The president of the association, Cristóbal Aguado called for "the immediate withdrawal of this new alleged commercial abuse by Lidl because at this ridiculous price it is impossible to cover all production costs between the field and the supermarket."
"We are facing the umpteenth scandal from this German chain, which doesn't hesitate to resort to dropping fruit prices in order to sell other products for which it applies a fairer value."
"We want to know what price citrus growers have been paid and we hope that the full weight of the law will fall on this supermarket chain if it is proven that there has been abuse," he said.
Production costs of oranges
According to a study by the Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA) in 2020, the production costs of the orange amount to 23 cents per kilogram for the producer.
AVA-Asaja maintains that the increase in the cost of various expenses has triggered a 30 percent increase compared to last season, which would make the total cost of orange cultivation 30 cents per kilogram.
The sales of Navelina oranges in the Valencian Community have started bleakly and at source prices that are sinking below €0.15 per kilogram, almost half of what prices were year-on-year.
This is mainly due to the massive citrus imports from South Africa, Egypt and Morocco along with "abusive commercial practices".
Aguado said that the Food Chain Law that is currently being reformed in Congress and the Senate should serve to prevent abuses such as those of Lidl with the national orange.
"The orange crisis is the latest example that so far the objectives of the law and reality have been two very different things," he said.
"Our politicians have to ensure that the law's intention is reflected in the field and that there are no more abuses against farmers and ranchers."