Citation 5

Apr 14, 2015

Subect 1: Jorge Solmi
Role: Vice-President of FAA \

Subect 2: Pedro Peretti
Role: Executive Director of FAA \

Subect 3: Carlos González
Role: local representative and FAA diary commissioner \

Place: Buenos Aires
Date: April 14, 2015


All the interviewed represent different factions of the FAA, and are affiliated to different political parties. The executive director is appointed by the FAA president.


Jorge Solmi

[2:01] Solmi: “In FAA, we don’t refer to lockouts because the labor force comes from farmers themselves, we call it a strike. A lockout is an employer means of protest where the employer doesn’t allow his employees to work is in a factory or wherever, and workers cannot work. This isn’t our situation. For us it’s a strike because we work our own land, milk the cow, etc. Even if we have someone helping us but in general the producers of FAA work with their family and there isn’t abundance of employer-employee relations for the producers of FAA. [2:43] … [24:21] generally the supplier is a person with a small plot that in the 90s survived by supplying services because they couldn’t grow in land and they grew in machinery. Many are originally from FAA. The FAA started with sharecroppers that eventually got access to the land and became owners [in response to a question about the north of the country]. [25:27] … [26:55] “there are peasants, there isn’t a considerable number of peasants. In the Chaco, there are more small farmers thanks to plans of access to land, but in Salta there are many peasants who are members of FAA.”

Authors: “How can you coordinate the demands of peasants with those of small producers in the Pampas?”

Solmi: “It’s very difficult. In 2004 we had created a department of rural development, which we had to close due to lack of financing, to expand the FAA towards those actors. The origin of FAA was in the Pampas with sharecroppers turned into small farmers, who were benefited especially during the government of Perón due to land titles. In 2004, we made this department and started to expand to those places because in those provinces there are problems with land titles in precarious conditions. Here it’s clear what the land titles are. For instance, there was a problem with a colony in Bigand in the south of Santa Fe and found that Bigand bought the land to Urquiza, which he had acquired from Estanislao López from the war against Rosas [in the 1850s]. The titles can be traced into the past and there are titles. In Formosa, there are no titles, in Chaco, a bit more, in Salta, there are no titles. You were living there but you don’t even know who owned and if it was transferred from the state to a private owner and now you are just an ‘occupant’ in the land. [30:07] … [49:57] the rural producers in the base are very similar in the Pampas region with the rural societies [50:20] in the North it’s different, there is no relation at the local level… [50:30]

Carlos González

[11:45] González: “The FAA is the organization that mobilizes the most and that’s most active in the roadblocks. The small and medium farmers, sharecroppers and service providers are the crucial core [12:10] … [18:22] Argentine producers don’t like to pay dues of the FAA, or local rural society’s, even if it’s a small due and if they make a lot of money. It’s a problem of representation [18:52] … [19:01] The FAA had made agreements with the government, Príncipe, and his wife who comes from the technocracy and had worked with D’Elia in Lands and Housing [a secretary administering land grants and project housings] and ideologically is akin to the Communist Party. Príncipe felt in love with her and abandoned his wife and then he and other people have the leadership of FAA and re-directs the FAA and the subsidies they receive towards family agriculture. The government never really controlled family agriculture but in Argentina is different from the rest of Latin America in regards to family agriculture. Because in Argentina, the family agriculture includes small and medium producers of 50, 100, 200 hectares and not only producers of food, such as vegetables or fruit and some wine, but instead is dependent on agriculture and cattle and based on immigration. In other Latin American countries, they don’t have it. They work for food sovereignty [20:11] … [21:11] in our definition it’s the man who works the land with his family [21:28] … [21:45] we have three family agricultures: the subsistence for self-consumption, the intermediate who also has another source of income, and the entrepreneurial one with even a few employees along with family help. This last one is the one that was destroyed in the 1990s by Menem and thousands more in the Kirchnerism due to the concentration of land production. [24:49]

Pedro Peretti

[40:41] Authors: “How is the relationship between rural organizations at the local level?”

Peretti: “The relationship at the local level is good but we represent different interests. There is a reason we have four different organizations; it’s because each of them represents producers of different sizes. The Rural Society represent the large landowners, CRA represents the medium-size ones and FAA represents the small and medium farmers and the peasant organizations which represent the peasants.”

Authors: “And the cooperatives? CONINAGRO?

Peretti: “That’s an instrument of commercialization, not representation. CONIAGRO emerges as a representative organization in the 1950s but CONINAGRO in general worked with FAA because they represent the same producer, but it’s not a real representative organization. The real representative organization are three, or four, as I told you. The landowners are not really popular in the towns, they don’t like them in the town or are not well appreciated, for envy or other things, they are not appreciated in the town. They were part of the conservative elites who governed with the military coups and conservative governments. The small or medium farmers are Radicals or Peronists” [42:50].