It takes little time for the world to turn upside down. How can you change your life from one moment to another without waiting for it. What we are experiencing today, a health crisis unprecedented in modern history, caused by a virus that has been confined to more than half the world and for which, for the moment, there is no cure, should serve to reflect on the correct order of things once this happens, to write on a blank page which sectors, services or products are essential for human beings in extreme situations and start working on reinforcing them in case another situation of these dimensions comes to us. Why if something is being amply demonstrated these days, it is that the two basic pillars for a country to continue standing still are two: health and food. Without that, nothing works.
This article is a deep token of appreciation for these two sectors, because without them there are no waits that are worth, there are no confinements that work, this would be chaos that would lead to a war caused by confrontations, shortages, looting and much hardship. A thank you, on the one hand, to all those health workers who are risking their lives and those of their families these days to save as many people as possible. On the other, to people in the countryside, to those who produce quality food: milk, meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables and fresh vegetables … and who allow the food supply of the population on a daily basis.
Today more than ever I can say that I am very proud to be a farmer. Of belonging to a guild that has shown solidarity and boundless strength. But not only that, the commitment of the producer sector in this crisis is shocking. Since the first day the state of alarm was decreed, no one has hesitated a second to go out every morning to work the land, to produce quality food so that their country can eat. Yes, those people who a few weeks ago blocked roads and protested fair prices for their products, who denounced the total abandonment of Spanish and European policies for years, who were even beaten by the state security forces in some parts of Spain. for expressing their opinion, they are the ones who now lend their tractors and machinery – with which they were fined – in a disinterested way to clean and disinfect the streets of the towns; those who lend their hands to ensure fresh food; those who put their health at risk for us … Because they have, like our toilets, what most of our politicians lack, the commitment and responsibility to fulfill their duty.
If there is one thing that hurts me especially, it is that a global disaster of this size has had to come before our political class realizes why we are a strategic sector. Perhaps today, more than one understands our cry against all those European policies that have used us as a bargaining chip in numerous treaties and that have done us so much damage by letting in third-country productions that ruined our products. How bad would we be if our food were now in the hands of countries such as China, Morocco …, as is happening with access to all the protection material for toilets, virus detection tests … and how many problems of supply, security and reliability are causing our healthcare system .
Fortunately, the abandonment of the political class regarding the production sector has not ended up dismantling the agricultural activity. Thanks to the integrity of our farmers and ranchers, who are still at the foot of the canyon today, demonstrating that they have managed to rise to the challenge in an unprecedented crisis, we can say that food in Spain is guaranteed because it is in our hands. When all this happens we hope that our Government, our deputies and the European Commission learn some lesson in terms of solidarity between regions and the aphorism, so used these days by farmers, that the “letter with blood enters” is fulfilled. Let us take care of our farmers, ranchers and toilets, and do not allow one more day the mistreatment of those who feed us and who care for us when we are sick. Let us learn, even if it is because of these “stakes” that we are receiving, that with health and food you cannot play.
Eladio Aniorte Aparicio
is president of ASAJA Alicante – Young Farmers.