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Family Farming. The case of Catalonia
On behalf of the Unió de Pagesos, the encounter was attended by Salomó Torres member of the Comissió Permanent Nacional, as well as an organic wine grower and farmer.
The Unió represents 37,000 farms which cover practically all agricultural sectors (rice, citrus fruits, horses, etc.), homemade food products, etc. They also pay special attention to the incorporation of young people, women "dones", an example of which is that they are members of the Rural Women's Network, and the "elderly". They are setting up an organisation that will offer the support required by the retired farmers, a group which is growing in size and has little protection. They are also pioneers in Co-development, they recognised the need to incorporate foreign labour and decided to repay them by training the workers so that once they returned to their places of origin they could in turn train others. They also have a service to hire temporary workers and other support services.
In his speech, he wished to highlight the constant uncertainty in farmers' lives. "A farm that is profitable one year may not be so the following year". They suffer very sharp price variations which do not help in making it a more attractive sector for young people.
He also pointed out the need to redefine and reinvent agricultural cooperativism, which is based on a model created 120 years ago in a context that is very far from the situation we are in now. The redefinition is essentially required from the need to facilitate the marketing of the products in the best conditions for the farmers.
The cooperative is in charge of the transformation and marketing whilst the Unió de Pagesos brings together farmers who are offered different services. La Unió also acts as a pressure group before the Authorities, Agro-industries and the Distribution Chains. On the subject of distribution they have set up a campaign called Km 0 which refers to the reduction of middlemen in order to improve the farmers' margins.
You can access the paper via the following links: