I'm sick of having my oranges stolen
As you are undoubtedly aware, one of the biggest problems we have right now with fresh Valencian oranges is product theft. is product theft. We have surprised thieves several times and, unfortunately, we have not been able to do practically nothing against them.
There are two types of theft of oranges (I do not include in this classification of theft that of the intermediary to the farmer because it is not typified but it is also theft. The problem is that, as there are no efficient cooperatives in Spain - in a tweet we commented that the average size of the Spanish cooperative is 4.2MM€ compared to 1.346MM€ in Denmark- so the inequality of bargaining power makes prices multiply by 10 between the field and the final consumer, with the farmer receiving a pittance for his work and risk):
- The small-scale: Typical of the neighbor or passerby who thinks that because he takes a bag of Valencian oranges nothing happens. And it is true, for 1 bag nothing happens, the problem is that when there are 200 people and they take 1 bag of oranges each, then the hole becomes big.
- The large-scale or organized: They are groups of people, organized in trucks and work crews that clean orchards in a few hours, of course, without paying the farmer. Here the disaster is serious and the impunity is painful. Many times I have been told of full trucks that have been filled up in broad daylight. In fact, it has happened to me. Last year about 15% of my crop was stolen and I could not catch the thief. This year I have been robbed as well but I have tried to solve the problem. A colleague of mine was almost assaulted recently because he stopped in an orchard and told those who were working who had given them permission, all those who were working came out and threw him out with threats and shouting. Of course, he called the police but, unfortunately, by the time they arrived there was no one there and because of his nerves he didn't get any information. Another day I will tell what happened to a friend, who was robbed by a company in theory serious but here there is no space.
The professional thief annoys me a lot. I can't complain too much about the other one because I have downloaded some books and movies from the internet so I get pissed off and apply my own medicine.
However, I've decided to apply unconventional measures to the theft of fresh Valencian oranges and, so far, they are working well. All I have to do is say this and tomorrow I will be broken into and robbed again, but I am going to defy bad luck.
Normally, to prevent entry into the orchard, chains are placed on the driveway and warnings are posted to keep out. As usual, the professional thief is usually not too concerned about this. For this reason, we have decided to put up an anti-theft system that proves to be very effective.
This is our system:
We have put nail traps so that the car or van with which they enter, piche and can not move. In addition, we have put several, some at the entrance and others in the usual paths of the orchard.
These boards are homemade, laborious to make but very, very effective.
So far the result has been a couple of cars with flat tires and the boards moved and thrown away as a sign of thanks from the thieves.
I believe in the goodness of marketing so I hope that among the chorizo guild the news spreads that we do flat tires and so they look for another orchard and leave us alone, at least for a while.
This has risks because if someone comes just for a ride they can get a flat tire, but we have put them in a way that minimizes that risk.
So, for now, this is our system. This will be the typical thing that works for one season but we will have to see in a few months. We'll have to come up with something new for sure.
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