The two biggest fruit and vegetable grower associations in Murcia and Almería, Proexport and Coexphal, have joined forces in order to better defend the interests of the agricultural sector.
Proexport president Juan Marín and Juan Antonio González, president of Coexphal, said the alliance would “promote and protect the values that drive the most innovative and dynamic horticultural sector on the European continent”.
At a meeting on Monday in Pulpí (Almería), also attended by the Regional Agriculture Councillors of Murcia and Almería, Antonio Luengo and Carmen Crespo, the two organisations said they were determined to promote policies and investments that ensure the future of irrigation water, agricultural production and employment.
Both groups highlighted the importance of protecting the supply of water through the Tajo-Segura Transfer System, which they claimed was essential to guarantee the sufficient quality and quantity of water at an affordable price needed for irrigation.
The two organisations also highlighted the environmental and labour benefits that horticultural activity brings to South Eastern Spain.
“We are committed to good agricultural practices, environmental sustainability and decent working conditions for all,” said Marín.
“That is the identity and values of agriculture that we defend and practice. Those who break the rules do not represent us and harm the group of farmers and horticultural companies that we are doing well.”
Proexport and Coexphal also highlighted the need for direct payments from the EU’s CAP to be approved, in order to promote good agricultural practices that would help the fight against climate change.
Both associations have urged the Spanish government to ensure that the agricultural sector and its companies can access the European Recovery Funds to fund investments in innovation, the circular economy and the incorporation of new technologies to improve competitiveness, sustainability and employment within the sector.