French hydroponic vegetable producers demand fixed prices
The demand is warranted by the fact that hydroponic production is more expensive and demanding.
With prices decreasing across the market, small producers are finding it difficult to cover their costs and compete against the larger producers. It is harder for them to negotiate with supermarkets and hypermarkets as their production is limited.
Hydroponic farming is more costly as the producers need to make big investments in the material, notably the greenhouses, irrigation pipes, fertilisers, seeds and coco peat.
However, hydroponic farming requires less manual labour than field production and is less effected by pests. Yield is greater as the plants are protected from excess sunlight and there is less evaporation.
They are also better protected from rain. Producers believe that they would benefit from more government help, particularly in marketing. ■