On January 1, 2021, the new regulation on organic production and product labeling will come into force, providing new opportunities to small producers, who will be allowed to join groups to obtain collective certifications. As stated by the Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, María de los Ángeles Benítez, this regulation will make the certification process “administratively easier.”
In addition to the greater ease for small growers to enter this segment, the new regulations simplify and harmonize the rules and guarantee a more homogeneous competitiveness for EU growers against imports from third countries, said Benítez. According to their data, the sector's growth prospects are "good and promising, so there is still room to grow" in the European Union.
She stressed that it is important for the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to provide better support to this type of productions and to back the commitment of the states to boost their consumption.
In a statement to Efeagro, the general director of Agricultural Productions and Markets of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Esperanza Orellana, said that organic farming is "very important" for the Department, because Spain is a leader in terms of production in the European Union and is included in the agro-food promotion programs.
For her part, MEP Clara Aguilera said that organic food is currently "interesting, but it is not easy for a producer to be encouraged to change the model, given the doubts about the profitability that could be achieved in the first years. In that sense, she sees the need to provide not only aid, but also facilitate the sale of the products in markets "that pay more for them" or through short channels.
The organic agro-food sector in the EU
In 2018, the turnover from sales of organic agro-food products in the EU exceeded 25,000 million Euro, with 12.8 million hectares (+70% compared to ten years ago), according to the European Commission.
Regarding consumption in the global market, the value of those goods was estimated at 92.4 billion Euro in 2017, with 34 billion corresponding to the EU, which has more than three million producers and 90,000 organic industries.
In Spain, the acreage expanded by 7.9% in 2018 compared to the previous year, reaching 2.24 million hectares. The country thus remains the leader within the EU and the fourth largest producer in the world; however, the average spending stands at just 42.19 Euro/person. This puts Spain in thirteenth place within the EU.