What Agro-Food Price Observatory Does Catalonia Want?

September 19, 2019

On the 25th of July, the Parliament of Catalonia approved a motion urging the government to widen the scope of action of the Agro-Food Price Observatory as soon as possible. The aim is to begin with the sectors that are most sensitive and those with the highest degrees of imbalance in their supply chains, eventually incorporating the rest of the sectors as well. At CREDA-UPC-IRTA, we believe that the Agro-Food Price Observatory can be an invaluable tool for improving market transparency, and thus we are in full support of this motion.

Recently, on September 11th, the European Commission reported that they are prepared to adopt measures to increase transparency through improving the availability of information on prices throughout food supply chains. Specifically, from January 1, 2021, member states will have to compile price data at the different links along the value chains of various sectors – meat, dairy, wine, grains, oil seeds, protein crops, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and sugar. According to the press release by the European Commission, there is a significant quantity of information available on agricultural markets, including production costs, end-consumer prices, production and trade volumes, etc. On the contrary, there is a scarcity of information about the markets operating between producers and consumers, such as food processing and bulk retailers.

In this context, we find it interesting to ask: “what agro-food price observatory does Catalonia want?” Beyond extending the observatoryto other sectors as obliged by the recent motion passed by parliament, does Catalonia want to compile price data at different nodes of the value chains? What about information about costs and profit margins?

Currently, we at CREDA-UPC-IRTA are collaborating with the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Food (or DARP, corresponding to the acronym in Catalán) on the elaboration of Sectorial price references of the Agro-Food Price ObservatoryThis involves the development and implementation of a system which periodically compiles price data from major fruit producers (apple, pear, various varieties of peach and nectarine) and nut harvesters (almond, hazelnut). The sectorial reference prices can be found on the website of the DARP.

Related twitter post by the European Union Agriculture account @EUAgri

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