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Spain: Proposal for amendment to regulations affecting producer organizations

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment has proposed an amendment to the Royal Decrees regulating the producer organizations and their associations, the funds and operational programs and the economic circumscriptions.

On the one hand, this responds to the need to incorporate the new provisions included in the Omnibus Regulation (EU) 2017/2393 and its development regulations currently in process. On the other hand, it introduces changes in application of the principle of subsidiarity. These changes basically affect the requirements for the recognition of producer organizations, the content of the operational programs and the application of regulations in economic circumscriptions.

For FEPEX, the amendments to the Royal Decrees should be aimed at strengthening the sector's position in a context characterised by the EU's trade policy, which favours free trade. They claim that this has been creating competitive disadvantages for EU producers, who feel they are subject to regulations that are not applicable to imports. For this reason, the legal changes should allow the sector to become stronger, with both the production and marketing treated as priorities. Moreover, there needs to be capacity for investment and innovation in the farms in order to improve their competitiveness, both in the domestic and in the foreign markets.

In 2017, the export of fresh fruits and vegetables increased by 1% compared to 2016, totalling 12,704 million Euro, and the volume grew by 0.5%, standing at 12.6 million tonnes, according to data from the General Directorate of Customs. The initial growth forecasts were not met, and the pace of growth was also slower than in 2016 and 2015.

Meanwhile, the Spanish import of fresh fruits and vegetables in 2017 grew by 6% in volume and by 8.6% in value compared to the previous year, totalling 3.06 million tonnes and 2,526 million Euro.


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