25% of the Spanish farms of sheep of milk could close in 2018, due to the strong pressures that big dairy industries are transferring to the farmers. Both the prices that these companies are offering to the producers, and the conditions of the contracts put, as denounced by the agrarian organization UPA, in “serious risk of disappearance” to many farms.
The situation affects all of Spain, as explained by UPA, but is especially serious in Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León. Some industries would be dropping the threat to stop collecting milk from farms located in more remote areas, which is, in the opinion of this organization, “intolerable discrimination“.
Although the prices of sheep’s milk at source continue to be “stable within gravity,” according to UPA, the first bids that are coming up for next year’s contracts are “really worrying” and will not allow to reverse the closing trend of farms that, between September 2016 and 2017, has led to the abandonment of their farms by 167 ranchers throughout Spain, “dramatic data”, according to UPA.
In the last year, almost 170 dairy sheep farms have closed in Spain, out of the 6,500 farms in our country
UPA considers unjustifiable a behavior that, in addition, could cause an “imitation effect” of other industries, since the general situation of the dairy market is of rising prices for the productions of cow and goat and with firm quotes of the main industrial products, especially of fat.
UPA has indicated that the large distribution is returning to banalize the pure cheese of sheep, with repeated offers at 5.50 or 6 euros per kilo, in a product with high added value, which in this way is losing positioning and value to consumers
The organization of farmers has urged the dairy industry to “act responsibly” and pay a fair price for sheep’s milk and has required the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment to become aware of this problem and act to prevent keep closing more farms.