STA, 27 August 2020 - Representatives of Slovenian farmers have made an urgent appeal to the government to intervene in the market since some purchase prices are so low they do not even cover the cost of production.
Purchase prices have been declining for many years but "the situation has never been so bad before," Anton Medved, the president of the Trade Union of Slovenian Farmers, told the press on Thursday.
"Value added tax amounts for a higher proportion of the price of a loaf of bread than the money the farmer gets for his wheat," he said.
The union wants the government to reintroduce monitoring of retail prices of food on store shelves and establish fair relations in the food supply chain.
They also want the introduction of mass balances, a system whereby inputs and outputs are measured based on origin.
Medved said prices had declined by 15-30% since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. "In the long term, this means ruin."
Listing the reasons why the government should intervene, Medved said Slovenian farmers will never be able to produce vegetables as cheaply as large Italian or Spanish farms, which he said were exploiting workers.
As things currently stand, Slovenian farms are being abandoned. "When young farmers see that farming no longer pays off, they will stop farming," he said.