Spain, first country in the world in organic olive production capacity

Spain, first country in the world in organic olive production capacity

2018/07/02 - The latest data from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (Mapama) highlight that Spain leads the organic olive oil production sector worldwide. This country -with more than 197,000 hectares destined to this type of production- had 29.3% of the total organic surface dedicated to this crop in the world in 2015 and that percentage stood at 33% in 2016, according to this estimates.

The report Strategies for the structuring of the organic production sector of Spain-Year 2017 underlines, in this sense, that it is "an essentially Mediterranean production with a strong image of quality in the main international markets".

In this last annual report on the organic sector, it also includes a ranking of oil-producing countries led by Spain, followed further by Italy, Tunisia, Turkey, Greece and Portugal.

It also specifies that, by products, almost three quarters of the national organic production is concentrated in a few crops: cereals (11% of the total area); olive grove (10%); dried fruits (7%); vineyard (5%); vegetables and potatoes and legumes (3%).

In addition, in its review of organic production structures aimed at industrial transformation, the report highlights a "remarkable development" in 2016 reaching a total of 3,810 organic industrial companies, which in turn had a total of 6,615 industrial establishments registered as organic which confirms a continued increase.

Thus, the oil sector is the third in number of establishments in the sector of vegetable production, with 803 establishments, preceded by Preparation and Handling of Fruits and Vegetables (2,069 establishments) and Wines and Beverages (1,032 establishments).

Organic shopping basket
The report details that more than 64% of the organic products basket (in value) is made up of six product lines and olive oil represents 8% of this percentage, placing intself as the fifth line behind vegetables (18.5%); meats (15%); cereals (11.5%); fruits and preserves (11%).

The Spanish Ministry also includes the latest data on organic production and, by product lines, olive crops for oil mill account for 163,490 tons, according to 2016 figures, representing a decrease of 18.49% compared to 2015. In the case of the period 2012 to 2016, this category registered an increase of 2.59% in its production.

Market value of olive oil
In 2016, the estimated value of organic production at origin of olive oil amounted to 163.8 million euros. In general, the organic market volume exceeded 1,700 million euros, with a growth of 5.5% compared to 2015. Spain already exceeds, in addition, the two million hectares dedicated to organic farming and adds 85,000 jobs, as the report highlights.

Among other conclusions, the study emphasizes that the organic production sector in Spain has a "solid basic production structure and occupies an important strategic position in the global market context for organic products".

However, it also indicates that, in the opinion of many operators and sectoral agents, this important structural and economic scope does not correspond to one of the main problems affecting the organic production sector in Spain, as is its insufficient capacity for association and/or vertebration.

On the other hand, after analyzing these data, the president of Ecovalia, Álvaro Barrera, stressed that "we are going to achieve our Goal 20-30, that is, that in 2030 at least 20% of the food we consume is organic and that 30% of the useful agricultural land of our country is dedicated to organic production".

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