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Spanish Poultry Farmers Angry over Retailers Low Prices

19 August 2013

SPAIN - Spanish poultry farmers have attacked large retailers in the country for joining forces to sell chicken at unrealistically low prices.

The Spanish Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA) claims there is a "hidden pact" among large retailers to sell chicken meat at 2.14 €/kg.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture says that the cost should be 20 per cent higher because of the cost of production.

Despite an increase in consumption and reduction in the supply of chickens during the summer months, the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers said that this distribution as a commercial meat "trivialises the product, destroying its value along the chain."

In recent months, the UPA has been reporting the pressure it has been exerting on different distribution groups that are "consistently using chicken meat as a product claim."

During the summer months, the chicken meat sector reduces supplies due to weather conditions, offering lower weight chickens. This means that every week there is between 20 to 25 per cent less meat on the market than any other week of the year.

However, neither reduction nor traditional supply have increased consumption resulting from the presence of more people in the country during the summer months. This has allowed large distribution chains to establish a retail price higher than the production costs, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, as reported by the Observatory of Prices.

UPA claims that there is an agreement between the various chicken meat distribution channels to maintain a selling price between 2.14 and 2.15 €/kg, while according to the cited cost, these amount to 2.70 €/kg. UPA is examining the possibility of filing a complaint with the National Competition Commission, denouncing this situation.

According to UPA, the distribution "is putting a strain on the beef sector," which until now had been able to maintain a level of activity similar to that before the economic crisis.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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