In all of Spain, and in particular Catalonia, the cultivation, production, processing, marketing and consumption of organic food products is increasing. It is a slow but steady growth, which has been enhanced by the promotion of the organic sector made from the association. Associations like APECPAE in Catalonia, in a little over a year of operation has published two monographs on special organic food, the first with the newspaper La Vanguardia, in January, and the second in El Periódico de Catalunya in early May, others a monthly magazine for information, "ECOALIMENTS”, among other things to promote the PAE.
The area devoted to organic agriculture in the Spanish state grows 10%.
The results of the organic agriculture industry in the state recorded growth of 10 per cent of the area in Spain during 2005, compared to last year.
These data place Spain as one of the first places in the world community and in the number of hectares devoted to organic agriculture, which in 2005 amounted to 807,569 hectares, a 10 percent increase over 2004. Within organic production, highlights the area devoted to forests, pastures, meadows and forage base of development of organic livestock, with a total of 453,046 hectares.
With regard to industrial activity related to organic agriculture emphasizes the growth of 8 per cent in the number of processors and the increasing number of industrial establishments which last year reached the figure of 2002, representing a further step in the consolidation of the transformer and adding value.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has begun, for its part, to implement the Action Plan for organic agriculture, which includes actions such as approval of Royal Decree by which is reserved exclusively for organic agriculture and bio echo the words and actions such as information and promotion campaigns. In this sense, it is expected to allocate two million euros, over two years to promote awareness and encourage the consumption of organic products.
Catalunya, the community with more processors, marketers and importers
Catalonia is the autonomous community that has a greater number of processors, marketers and importers. The operators are 1080 total, divided into: 683 producers, 369 processors and marketers (the community that has more) and 28 importers (also the highest number in the state). The area devoted to organic production is 54,188 ha, which is far below that of Andalusia, which is lower than that of Aragon (74,219), Castilla-La Mancha (64,691) and Extremadura (67,378).
Andalusia is with a total area 403,361 hectares. Catalunya is below Aragon (752), Castilla-La Mancha (1,074), Extremadura (3608) Murcia (725) and Valencia (932) for processing.
Why the consumer doesn’t buy organic?
Data from a study on organic food by the Observatory of Food Consumption and Distribution provides some surprising data as there was a very high knowledge of the interviewees in which the product is organic, specifically, more than 72 %.
Consumers who have participated in group meetings that have been made to develop this study show disadvantages of organic products with regard to traditional foods and the high price and less attractive appearance of fruit and vegetables.
The study also detected a serious problem to buy organic food, more than half of respondents do not find these products in normal purchase.
Most organic products are fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat. Consumers choose organic products for three reasons: they are healthier, have more taste and quality. By age groups, consumption is more important among the respondents aged between 46 and 55 years.
APECPAE: defense of industry
About to turn the first half year of life, the association of producers, processors and marketers of organic food products (APECPAE) born to defend only the interests of the Ecological Agricultural Production. Common interests of both producers by processors and marketers, and that all we need. Urgent that, as an association, we believe it is necessary to solve and for which we work to:
- Update Roundtable Sector of agriculture production, to strengthen it. It is here at the Sector Roundtable, where industry and government have to agree, and meet as many times as necessary.
- Strengthen local markets for consumers and for small farms and lack of profitability in peri-urban and disadvantaged areas, to stimulate production and provide economic alternatives to commercial short circuits.
- We must protect and encourage organic sector leaving their living and preserved space. Therefore to maintain the positions of APECPAE clear, unambiguous, in the defense of our productive sector. For this reason, we oppose the cultivation of GMOs.
- It should enhance the public seal of certification and logo of Catalan Europe and make it more forthcoming, increasing awareness of the potential consumers.
- We need specific support in research + development + transfer and have a center for technological agrofood PAE.
- It should inform the qualities of food, social and environmental system of this type of production, through advertising campaigns directed at potential consumers.
Today APECPAE is a member of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), founder member of FEPECO (Federation of Associations of Producers and Manufacturers of Spain) and fifty Catalan companies are part of our Association between producers, processors and marketers of organic food products. We are proud to have achieved this degree of cohesion and participation of members, because never before had such a degree of union in the sector. That makes us feel optimistic for the development sector of the PAE in Catalonia and Spain. Gradually we will be able to communicate better and farther, and, in turn, inform the consumer to achieve an increase in the market. Thus, by creating sector for the benefit of all those in the SAP environment will contribute to an increasingly sustainable production.