- The representatives of the main agricultural and livestock organizations, as well as AVIANZA, subscribe to an "effective and decisive" commitment to promote measures to guarantee its viability.
- One of the objectives will be to review and update the Bases of the Standard Integration Contract, as well as a draft response to the threats that continue to affect the sector.
Madrid, April 17, 2023. The representatives of the main national agricultural and livestock organizations, ASAJA, COAG and UPA, and AVIANZA, the majority association of the Spanish poultry meat sector, which groups more than 65 associated companies and represents more than 90% of the companies linked to the chicken, turkey and quail meat sector, have officially constituted the Integration Executive Committee, whose objective will be to review and update the Bases of the Standard Integration Contract, which establishes the main guarantees and the framework of action for the regulation of the activity between the producing companies (integrators) and their integrated companies (poultry farms). To this effect, their representatives have formalized after the meeting held last Friday, April 14, 2023 in Madrid, a joint declaration that we are transferring below:
- We constituted this Executive Integration Committee as an operative instrument for constructive debate and proactive negotiation of the relationship between the integrating companies and the farmers dedicated to poultry meat production in Spain.
- More than ever, it is essential to act jointly and in a coordinated manner to respond to the challenges of the poultry sector, both from a firm position of defending the rights of all members of the poultry value chain and respecting the contribution of each of its essential pillars.
- We want to act as a common voice, firm and conciliatory at the same time, to advance in the strengthening of a key sector for the Spanish economy, with special incidence in areas of the emptied Spain, and generator of more than 2,500 million euros of turnover for the national GDP, as well as more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs.
- Until the socioeconomic and sanitary crisis caused by the COVID pandemic, our sector had undertaken one of the greatest efforts in modernization, professionalization, production and marketing capacity ever made. This had allowed us to become one of the 3 main poultry meat producing markets in Europe, with the challenge of international projection for the first time in our history.
- However, since 2020, the Spanish poultry meat sector has been subjected to a permanent context of pressure and asphyxiation that have weighed down its production capacity and profitability balance, and consequently its economic viability.
- For more than three years we have been enduring throughout the value chain, from farms to processing and production centers, as well as marketing networks, the consequences of the increase in raw materials (up to double or triple their price), the unprecedented escalation of energy (up to 6 times more), of inputs and materials such as cardboard, plastics, the pressure of inflation, etc. All this in a sector which, due to its characteristics, has much shorter production cycles than other similar sectors, making it one of the most vulnerable.
- However, our joint position as a sector has always been one of resilience and commitment to the uninterrupted production of poultry meat to avoid any shortages for families in Spain. Day after day, all professionals in the sector have maintained their activity and fulfilled their responsibility.
- In this context, we have demanded co-responsibility from all members of the value chain in order to face a critical situation not only for the sector, but also for the population itself, since poultry meat is an essential pillar of healthy and affordable food for all Spaniards, especially for the most vulnerable.
- We have expressly demanded to the Distribution the adaptation of the commercialization contracts with the production chain to avoid the collapse of the sector as a whole, adapting them to the production costs in constant escalation. A demand that has not had the quick response and according to the reality that we needed, thus generating dramatic situations in farms and integrating companies, some of which could not resist the situation caused and were forced to close.
- Even so, the constructive dialogue between the main agricultural and livestock organizations and the integration companies, with the intermediation of AVIANZA, has allowed progressive agreements to update costs, which, although they were still not matched by the Distribution, allowed the poultry meat production sector to act in solidarity, once again.
- It should also be noted that in this context we have suffered and new threats are looming over the poultry meat sector due to administrative pressure, both local and European, to impose draconian regulations that are alien to the context of modernization and values promoted by the sector itself.
- Current regulations and measures under study by the European Union point to a new attack on the viability of our sector, recognized for its commitment to sustainability in all its aspects, its commitment to the objectives of decarbonization and advances in sustainable energy and animal welfare.
- In the face of these threats, meat imports from countries outside the European Union would become a reality. Meat would be imported with much lower standards of quality, health, food safety and animal welfare, since they would have a much more competitive price.
- We believe it is essential to be heard in order to avoid past mistakes that led to the disappearance of entire Spanish production sectors, to the detriment of other markets that in the end did not meet the supposed objectives set or the corresponding benefit in quality (and even price) for consumers. We therefore demand that the Spanish national administration act as the defender of the Spanish poultry meat sector before these administrations.
Representatives of the Integration Committee will continue their work in the next few weeks to constantly transmit their progress.