Despite the great importance of Andalusia's intensive horticultural sector, organic farming still accounts for a very small share of it (around 10%). This means that there are great opportunities for its expansion, both in the foreign and the domestic markets. Knowledge of the sector's main characteristics and problems, especially as far as product marketing is concerned, can be a valuable asset for the design of strategies to improve its competitiveness.
Thus, the team formed by Adriana Bertuglia, Mª Carmen González Roa and Jaime Villa Asensi, from the Area of Economy of the Food Chain of the Ifapa Center of Granada, have participated in the Transforma Project called "Participatory innovation for a sustainable protected horticulture" of 2016-2018. The focus of the activity has been an analysis of the marketing chain for organic greenhouse-grown horticultural products, as well as a look on the Andalusian sector's capacity for the self-supply of inputs.
The project featured:
–An analysis of the characteristics of intensive organic horticultural businesses in Andalusia.
–An analysis of the channels used to market organic vegetables grown under plastic.
–An analysis of the sector devoted to the supply of inputs to intensive organic horticultural companies.
An analysis of the information obtained makes it clear that the main reason for growers to cultivate organic crops is the higher prices paid for them. In addition to organic cultivation, 62% of Andalusian growers also have another quality certification, mainly GlobalGAP.
The data show that most products are marketed through cooperatives and similar organizations (52.05%), followed by other types of companies dedicated to the processing and marketing of products (36.84%).
About 70% of trading companies are also involved in cultivation, and another 85% are also devoted to the handling and packaging of products for their later sale. Almost half (45%) of these companies only sell organic products. The rest of them work with both organic and conventional products.