Farmers' Union announces more protests in Catalonia next week

Cross-border demonstration in planning while farmers will also travel to Madrid this Wednesday

A tractor on the A-2 with a sign reading 'No farmers, no food, no future'
A tractor on the A-2 with a sign reading 'No farmers, no food, no future' / Oriol Bosch
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 19, 2024 02:34 PM

February 19, 2024 10:04 PM

The Farmers' Union (Unió de Pagesos) has announced more protests in Catalonia next week and says it is working on a "cross-border protest" with farmers in Occitania and Northern Catalonia

The union's immediate focus, however, is the demonstration this Wednesday, February 21, in Madrid, due to take place outside the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture

"There will be many people and many tractors. And we hope that there will be answers," the national coordinator of the union, Joan Caball, said on Monday. 

Unió de Pagesos are asking for "agile actions" and "strong measures" from the Spanish government to solve the current crisis in the agriculture sector, which has led to multiple protests in recent weeks. 


"Enough hypocrisy. The future of farming, crops and many families' farms are at stake," Caball said. 

Red tape, unfair competition, food chain law violations 

Caball repeated the demands that have caused farmers to take to the streets recently – less red tape, addressing "unfair competition" of imports from non-EU countries, and ending violations of the food chain law. 

"We condemn how insufficient the food chain law is and the fact that the ministry does not seem to be correcting abuses regarding the weakest part of the chain and achieving prices for producers that are above cost prices." 

Regarding non-EU competition, Caball said that "in the upcoming trade agreement between the European Union and Chile, so-called mirror clauses will not be included, for example in the use of plant-protection products," criticizing Spain's Ministry of Agriculture for giving its approval. 

"This agreement will be approved in the coming weeks in the European Parliament and we will ask parties to vote against it." 

On red tape, union representative Raquel Serrat said: "We need actions, not words, about the reduction in bureaucracy for agricultural businesses, and to know, for example, the details of the proposal made by the Ministry for a 'voluntary' notebook," where farmers records details of plant-protection treatments carried out on farms. 


Farmers targeted key distribution and logistics points all over Catalonia with protests last week, blocking highways for 30 hours near Girona in the north

On February 7, a go-slow tractor march involving more than 2,000 vehicles brought Barcelona to a standstill.