1. What is it?
Organic agriculture involves a set of agricultural techniques which usually excludes the use of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, etc. The aim of this practice is to preserve the environment, maintain or increase soil fertility and provide food with all its natural properties.
Agriculture is currently regulated at both national and European aspects. Spain has the Regulatory Commission of Organic Agriculture who is responsible for advising on the matter. This body represents a forum for meetings involving industry, consumers and the Central Government and the Autonomous Communities.
Control and certification of organic agriculture is done mostly through Councils and Committees of local organic agriculture, which are subsidiaries of the Councils or Departments of Agriculture of the Autonomous Communities, or directly by DGs connected to them.
For the consumer to distinguish the goods of organic agriculture, all packaged units, in addition to its own brand, have a numbered label and a specific logo or monogram with the name and/or the code of the authority or control body and the legend "organic." This implies that industry or farm that has produced such a product is subject to checks and therefore has all the quality guarantees for consumer.
Organic products have many advantages that could be catalogued intob caring for our health and the environment.
- Caring for our health: Thanks to obtaining organic products healthier for consumers. Organic foods retain more nutritional properties, they are completely natural and more palatable to those produced with chemicals derived. The fact that these are healthier foods, also have a more lasting conservation.
- Moreover, this practice not only promotes the health of the consumer, but also implies the highest respect for the farmer.
- Caring for the environment: Organic agriculture respects and supports the Nature. This technique promotes biodiversity in the entire system. It also maintains soil fertility in the long term and, therefore, increases the biological activity on it. Moreover, organic agriculture avoids the use of non-renewable materials, are recycled as plant and animal residues for returning nutrients to the soil. So avoid contamination, as well as water and air.
3. Production and Distribution
The range of products that we consume is many: fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, honey... Our country meets the conditions necessary to produce them.
In agriculture, we have a favorable climate and typically employ extensive systems of production. Regarding livestock, the conservation of a genetic heritage of indigenous breeds, very rustic and the most adapted to the environment, supports their use in breeding and extensive. All this, without forgetting tradition and development achieved by beekeeping, whose careful management has resulted in the production of high quality by the abundance and variety of flora in Spain.
In our country, the practice of organic agriculture began in the late 80s, initially, was the exponential growth of the sector and more recently there has been a slowdown in its development. The current picture is as follows, according to the MAP in December 2005:
Crops, ecological grassland hold 2.48% of the utilized agricultural area Spanish, about 800,000 hectares.
The production reached an estimated value in 2004 of 250 million euros and more than 1700 processing industries.
This sector employs approximately 17,500 individuals and legal entities.
Approximately 80% of Spanish production of organic products is exported. Especially to Europe, Germany, Holland, France and the UK, where fresh products arrive.
Doing a quick regional analysis of the organic sector is seen that the most important regions in terms of organic agriculture are Andalusia and Extremadura (both due to their high surface area and number of operators) and Catalonia (the relative concentration of processing industries and processing of organic products by the dynamism of its market).
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is aware of the need to promote the consumption of organic products in Spain for the many advantages it presents. So joining the effort that has long been the different industry members are making to promote organic agriculture among the society.
Over the next two years, under the slogan 'Organic Agriculture. Live", the MAPA aims to discover the reality of organic agriculture and to show its benefits in order to increase demand. It will perform many different actions to each of the audiences that need awareness.
As indicated in the slogan, the concept that revolves around the entire campaign is "logical culture" of the consumption of organic products. The aim is to promote a lifestyle, a way to understand the power that implies a real "culture," which is full of common sense, "logic" since the benefits brought about by organic agriculture are great weight.
Among the planned actions are the television and print campaigns, as well as the concentration of shares in the various "Weeks of Organic Agriculture" to be implemented throughout the promotion. They will promote the installation of various points of reflection in various centers of power as well as editing various materials and information guides. Training sessions were also given to people from different areas (children, adults, producers and distributors ...). In addition, establish partnerships with companies in hotels, restaurants and schools in other sectors and create discussion forums, among other things.
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