The Balearic Government is in negotiations with Farmers and Ranchers to try to prevent a crisis in local lamb production, due to the closure of the hotel and restaurant Sector during the State of Emergency and coronavirus crisis.
The drop in lamb sales has been astonishing and farmers warned last Thursday that unless urgent measures were taken, the Pollensa Lamb Centre, which is the only one of its kind in Majorca, will collapse.
The Ranchers have proposed that the Government establish a subsidised price for lamb in a box.
The idea is that the current price of 5 euros per kilo is immovable, but that distributors pay only 3.5 euros per kilo and that the Government contribute by paying 1 euro which would go directly to the ranchers to avoid catastrophic losses.
This would make sure that the market price exceeds the cost of production. The farmers have been forced to pay out more money this year because a significant shortage of pastures has forced them to buy feed for the animals.
Martí Solivellas, President of the Cooperativa Payesa de Pollença, said he’s hoping for a 'quick' response from the Government and that the Agriculture Sector and Distributors are meeting to prepare an inventory of local products that currently have no outlet and to look for alternative markets.
The farmers have until May 31 to put 0.60% of the lambs from their farms on the market if they don’t want to lose aid from Europe.
90% of local lamb is destined for restaurants and hotels, so local distributors, whose refrigerators are already full do not want to buy any more.
"Today, about 70 lambs have been sold, but we would normally sell almost double that and next week would be our best week, because it’s Easter, but now it is a disaster,” explained Martí Solivellas.