MADRID – The prices of fruit and vegetables in Spain continue to rise. Yet the difference between what consumers pay and what farmers receive is also growing. That difference is sometimes as high as 582%.
This is the case of lettuce, one of the most consumed products in Spain. The farmer receives an average of €0.17/kg, while the distribution price rises to €1.16/kg. The difference between farmers and supermarket for this basic ingredient for salads is no less than 582%.
Extreme price increases on most purchased products
Another product that often ends up in the shopping basket of Spaniards, is the banana. This has seen the second largest price increase. The difference between the price at the source and in the supermarket is 524%. The price rises from € 0.34 in the field to €2.20 in Spanish supermarkets, according to data from the Coordinator of Organisations of Farmers and Livestock Farmers (COAG).
For summer products such as watermelon and cantaloupe, the price farmers receive is 200% lower than what consumers pay later. This trend can also be seen in livestock farming. Veal has seen a price increase of 292%: while farmers in butcher shops receive 5.25€/kilo, consumers pay €20.59. In the same way, farmers sell a kilo of pork for €1.99, Spaniards have to pay 6.4 euros for it.
Farmers do not benefit from price increases
Although many Spaniards notice the higher prices in the supermarket, farmers and livestock farmers hardly benefit from this. The cost of agricultural products has increased more than six times from the price in the field to the retail price in the store. Moreover, the costs of animal products have increased almost four times.
Increased operating costs for farmers
Apart from the gap between cost and consumer prices described above, farmers operate in a context of general cost increases. This is due to the increase in the prices of fertilizers, pesticides, fuel and electricity. However, prices in the field have increased somewhat as a result, which has somewhat reduced the difference between the source and sales prices.
Distributors say they won’t raise prices much
“The major Spanish and European distributors do not apply the historical cost increases to their prices. We are their largest and safest suppliers. In a situation as complicated as this, we only ask for more sensitivity. A few euro cents more for the retail price of vegetables and fruit will not increase inflation, but will help save thousands of jobs,” said the Federation of Spanish Associations of Producers Exporters of Fruit, Vegetables, Flowers and Live Plants (Fepex).