High prices are a hurdle

Spain: Organic foods gain ground in Murcia

The organic sector, with products such as fruits, vegetables and meats, is earning more followers every day. These foods, which are grown and produced in all corners of the Murcian geography, are considered healthier, as fewer fertilizers and pesticides are used. They are already available in specialised stores in many municipalities of the region; a trend that, experts say, goes "in crescendo." "In the past, we didn't have the chance to get the products so easily," say most consumers with joy.

According to the Organic Farming Council of the Region of Murcia, there are 33 specialised stores where it is possible to buy organic foods. To this figure we must add the websites which allow many consumers to buy their groceries and have them delivered at home. The only drawback is the price, which is considerably higher than that of conventional products.

The technical director of the Organic Farming Council of the Region of Murcia, Pedro José López, blames the high cost of logistics in Spain for the high prices. "90% of crops in the region are exported to countries like Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria and the United Kingdom. In these places, there is full awareness on the part of consumers," he claims. "They have been consuming for many more years; in fact, the price of the products there is more affordable due the greater demand. An organic product is only 10% more expensive than one that is not," states the specialist. "In Spain, given the much lower demand, the logistics are much more expensive."

The latest data from the organisation, reveal that one in four hectares of crops in the region of Murcia are devoted to organic products. "We believe that this year there will be a 30% growth of the acreage devoted to organic production," predicted the Council.

Healthy, but expensive products
The price of a kilo of organic apples stands at around 5 Euro, while in a "conventional" supermarket they cost 1.50 Euro per kilo. The cost of organic watermelons and melons is similar to that of their conventional counterparts, but organic garlic costs 5.75 Euro per kilo, compared to around 90 cents for the conventional. Pineapples are another of the most expensive foods; the price of this organic fruit can reach 6 Euro per kilo.

Source: laverdad.es

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