During the first quarter of 2020, Institut Cerdà, detected an important issue affecting the agricultural and livestock sector requiring attention urgently: the low price they receive for their produce compared to the final sale price paid by the consumer.  Consequently, we have analysed the distribution of costs along the fresh food products supply chain.

Due to the complexity of the sector, characterised by a wide variety of products, each one with distinct associated costs, it was necessary to develop and apply a methodology able to identify the net profit margin of each agri-food product at each link in the supply chain. This was done by characterising the costs and prices of the products throughout the chain.

In this context, during the first months of 2020 Institut Cerdà started the study ” The tomato supply chain: distribution of costs and prices”. This is a study on the distribution of costs along the supply chain in Spain of a particular product, the fresh tomato, which is a representative element of the sector. Fresh tomatoes account for 28%, by weight, of the total national vegetable production and so are representative of the ‘vegetables’ category in Spain(*).

The following infographics, first published in July 2020, present the results of the study:

The publication also includes a methodological note documenting the sources of information used and the concepts considered in the different items of prices and costs of the tomato supply chain during the 2019/2020 campaign.

It should be noted that despite the Covid-19 pandemic situation, that started in Spain in March 2020, the issue of the prices paid at the producer stage of the supply chain remains a matter of debate. Moreover, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation by adding other critical aspects such as the shortage of temporary labour for harvesting. This will inevitably influence the prices and costs of the value chain of fresh products for the 2020/2021 campaign.

[*] Source: Avances de superficies y producciones agrícolas, enero 2020 (datos correspondientes al ejercicio 2017). Secretaría General de Análisis, Coordinación y Estadística del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación.