In its analysis of organic production in 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) stated that the area of organic agriculture in Spain would have increased until last year, accounting for 10.79% of the useful agricultural area of the country, approaching 2.8 million hectares; 48.92% of which were located in Andalusia.
Granada and Almeria concentrated the largest number of organic primary agricultural production activities in 2021 (accounting for more than half of the total throughout Andalusia), which highlights the commitment that the operators of both provinces, including the Balcón de Europa S.C.A. cooperative, have towards organic production.
“Balcón de Europa promoted organic farming in the Nerja area by promoting it among our members and in the sector in general,” stated Amparo Correa Valencia, the manager of the cooperative. "In addition to having the CAAE certification for all of our production, our tendency is to minimize the carbon footprint, so we give priority to all local agriculture and encourage the consumption of proximity products."
"Our star products include sweet potato and avocado; which have GLOBALGAP and GRASP certification. Organic sweet potato, in particular, is one of the products that we are moving the most, as its consumption both in Spain and in different EU countries is following a growing trend. This product is increasingly being sold in more and more presentations, and it is being consumed in different preparations, the most traditional being roasted sweet potato."
"Regarding avocado, we have worked with the Bacon and Fuerte varieties; their campaign is short because in general there is little volume at the local level, but the demand for organic avocado is high, so it leaves a good margin. Now we are working with the Hass avocado and we expect a good campaign. However, there is little product this year because of the weather," Amparo stated.
"This is the moment when we should take advantage of the competitive advantage of the organic products"
This year, monthly data from the MAPA's food consumption panel shows that there's been an adjustment in the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, and potatoes. The latest figures available, corresponding to August, revealed that fruit consumption in Spanish households decreased by 10.8% and consumption of fresh vegetables and potatoes fell by 8.9% over the previous year. However, this has not prevented both categories from registering a 9.3% and 1.7% growth in value, respectively, compared to August 2021, due to the increase in prices.
“Two parallel phenomena are occurring. On the one hand, there is a trend to increase the consumption of organic foods because of the benefits that they represent for human health and for the conservation of the environment, as well as increasing awareness to decrease our ecological footprint. However, due to this year's galloping inflation, consumers are choosing to buy cheaper products, such as conventional non-organic products. This has generated a drop in the prices of organic products, equalizing prices," Amparo said (photo right).
"Demand and supply set the price of products. The prices of conventional products have increased and organic product prices have fallen, so they are currently at practically the same level. Thus, perhaps this is the moment to take advantage of the competitive advantage of the organic product: organic fruits and vegetables have a greater benefit both for people's health and for the planet. In addition, now that prices are comparatively not so different, they are more accessible to a greater segment of consumers."
For more information:
Balcón de Europa S.C.A.
C/ Carretera, 10
29780 Nerja, Málaga (España)
Tel.: +34 952 520 048