Ecovalia, the Spanish professional association for organic production, based in Seville, has been promoting the development of organic food and production for almost thirty years. "Our main objective is to continue backing organic production, as there are strong arguments to argue that it is the most effective tool and the only regulated production system that contributes to mitigating and adapting to climate change," says Álvaro Barrera, president of the association. “At Ecovalia, we have also been working towards the 2030 Goal, so that by 2030, 20% of consumption and 30% of the agricultural acreage in Spain are organic.”
In Spain, the consumption of organic food has doubled in just four years, from 1,000 million to 2,100 million, says Barrera. Andalusia is the region with the largest organic production. “In the past, organic products were consumed for health reasons; now the trend has changed and organic products are consumed as a result of greater environmental awareness. However, it remains necessary to continue informing the consumer about what they are consuming and let them know that they are supporting producers mostly from rural areas.”
Organic production has indeed played a fundamental role in the development of rural areas, in aspects such as job creation, employment of young people, the fight against depopulation and the greater presence of women in agriculture, says the president of Ecovalia.
“The organic market is a growing market. According to the latest data, Spain is still the European country with the largest organic acreage, with 2,246,000 hectares. We have grown by 7% in the processing industry (in terms of value added), by 5% in the number of producers (reaching 46,000) and by 16.5% in domestic consumption. 9.7% of the agricultural acreage in Spain is currently devoted to organic production and that is something we should be proud of,” said Barrera.
Regarding consumption, the sector continues its exponential growth and reports an increase of around 15%. "We are still awaiting official confirmation, but we may have reached 2.3 billion Euro in consumption of organic products in 2019," he said.