Argentina devotes 3 million hectares to organic production

According to Telam, after Australia, Argentina is the country with the biggest free of chemicals agricultural productive surface area in the world. Argentina exports 99% of the products it produces in this area to the United States and Europe.
Highly difficult certification processes and ongoing audits support Argentina’s international reputation. The country currently has three million hectares devoted to organic agricultural production, which yield about 170,000 tons of organic and 200 million dollars in revenues per year. 

The 1,200 members of the Argentine movement for organic production (MAPO) - an NGO with over twenty years of experience-, have four goals concerning legal issues for 2016, including a national law to accompany and promote sustainable production.
MAPO producers don't think of organic production as a mere economic activity, they have the conviction that they "represent, promote and disseminate the principles of the organic supply chain so that communities can meet their needs in a sustainable way."
According to the Secretary of MAPO, Gonzalo Roca, organic production is based on four principles: health, ecology, fairness and caution. In that sense, the use of agrochemicals is forbidden and they aim to work with "living ecological cycles that supports and promote the health of the soils, plants, animals, humans, and the planet."

Roca said that 45% of the products they exported had added value because they were processed products, such as sugar, jams, oils, flours, juices, and a variety of essential oils. "The fruit, for example, is packed", he said.
According to Roca, until 2001 the domestic market consumed 15% of their production. He also stated that, as more and more consumers demanded organic foods, supermarkets started marketing them as Premium products and increasing prices. Meanwhile, organic foods are sold at decent prices in fairs and dietary stores.
The value of organic production is stable in international markets. For example, genetically modified soya prices have decreased in recent years, while the price of organic soya remained stable, $600 dollars per ton.
Regarding meat, Roca stated that it was a production that they hadn't developed yet because of a market problem. However, he stressed the importance of moving forward in this area, as it was a need for extensive organic farming.
According to Roca, Argentina's organic production has good economic prospects considering that the global market for organic food exceeds 60 billion dollars.
He also stated that China was becoming an importer of organic products, which increased business opportunities in the medium term.


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