Almonds: farmers to turn on ruthless buyers

November 9, 2022 at 3:04 PM, Der AUDITOR
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TOLEDO. Fair pay is crucial for Spain's almond producers. Trouble, however, is that it is difficult to assess all costs involved in production. ASAJA, an organisation of young farmers in Spain's autonomous Castilla-La Mancha community, and the University of Castilla-La Mancha have launched a project to make it easier for producers to demand fair prices.

Individual calculations

The project was kicked off with a study that calculated all maintenance costs involved in the agricultural usage of Castilla-La Mancha's groves in the past three years. In so doing the authors differentiated between the different cultivation areas and types as well as between rain-fed irrigation (traditional and intensive) and artificial irrigation (intensive and superintensive). On top of this, the study also considered different maintenance costs including fixed and variable costs as well as indirect costs (insurences, land use, family cooperation and wages). This enables farmers to calcuted production costs for a whole range of products such as grapes, almonds and pistachios and olives as based on yields. Intention is to further adjust these calculations in the second phase to include grains such as barley and wheat, sunflower seeds and vegetables.

Objective is to develop a practical solution to help farmers fend off buyers insisting on too low prices, especially since the law in Spain dictates that farmers should not be forced to sell below production costs. Every producer will be provided with a dynamic instrument to calculate costs flexibly and as based on scientific facts, which will enable them to negiotate contracts more successfully with industry representatives. Should producers be put under pressure to sell at prices below production costs, they have the possibility to file official complaints that may even lead to sanctions. 

Market under pressure

Producers have been far from satisfied with prices in recent months. Although production costs have risen and production has declined sharply this year, they cannot sell at the prices they would like to see. Issues are the record high US carry-in stocks and the rise in production in Australia. Demand is moderate.





Valencia, 12/14 mm, natural, Spain



Valencia, +14 mm, natural, Spain



Nonpareil, Extra no 1, 23/25, natural, USA



Carmel, SSR, 23/25, natural, USA



California, SSR, 23/25, blanched, USA



FCA Spain

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