Hundreds of thousands of small farmers who survived NAFTA may disappear
Farmers coming from seven States and affiliated to the Nacional Front of Milk Producers and Consumers (NFMPC) demonstrated outside the Federal Senate building calling on Legislators to remove their farm sector from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The President of the NFMPC, Álvaro González Muñoz, explained that (not doing so) would lead to the disappearance of 149 thousand small producers who, to date, had managed to survive the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Carrying placards demanding not only price justice for the many families that depend on this farming activity, but also calling on the population in general to demand that cheese and butter industries use their local unadulterated milk, some five hundred small farmers coming from Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Veracruz, and the Comarca Lagunera, remained outside the building waiting for some hopeful news.
Mr. González Muñoz and a committee of nine met with members of the Senate Commission for Agriculture and Cattle, presided over by Manuel Cota Jiménez, who promised to be vigilant in ratifying the TPP.
Senator Cota Jiménez invited the farmers to return next Wednesday (17/02/2016) and present a detailed costing that they foresee being the impact on them of the TPP.
The president of the dairy farmers organization admonished the Ministry of the Economy for having authorized an annual purchase of 27 thousand tons of powdered milk from New Zealand given that local producers “have trouble selling their milk, and when they do they are forced to accept a price between two and three pesos a litre which is not enough to even cover the cost of production that is 5:50 pesos per litre”.
The president explained that commercial agreements “have put us in an unfair bargaining position; and we have yet to recover from NAFTA when we get hit with the TPP”.
He also indicated that he hoped that the companies that industrialize the milk would also be in attendance at the Senate meeting next week, since the objective is to arrive at an agreement where instead of importing powdered milk, fresh milk produced nationally would be purchased.
Matilde Pérez U.
Página 24, Política