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Magrama presents diagnosis on horti sector

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment has published on its website the results of the public consultation, surveys, and information from the discussion groups held since last July to make a diagnosis of the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector; which will be used to design the future national strategy of the operational programs of producer organizations (POs) in the sector.

This analysis was conducted with the participation of farmers, agricultural associations, producer organizations, the government, and academic experts.

Thus, the analysis phase focused on key issues, such as the stagnation in the level of organization, the size of producer organizations, crisis management, the role of POs in the food chain, and the adequacy of the operational programs to solve the problems of the sector.

In this context, the main proposals about increasing the degree of organization and size of the POs are based on achieving profitable and professional organizations that play an active role in the planning and marketing of their products and that have a direct knowledge of markets .

To this end, the participants in this process considered it was necessary for the Administration to take action on issues such as simplification, legal certainty, harmonization of criteria, reviewing the criteria for recognition, competition rules, provision and disclosure of information.

The participants also considered that the role that the industry can play to improve the management of the POs, create awareness about the need of working together amongst producers, and creating communication forums between POs and producers was essential. This collaboration could take place through inter-branch or POs associations, marketing platforms or any other figure that would enable producers to establish and work on common goals.

The conclusions regarding the operational programs and measures included in the current National Strategy are that these operational programs are an extremely useful tool to solve the problems of the sector.

In this regard, all the participants in the consultation, surveys, and focus groups agreed that the sector would not be what it is today, if the operational programs didn't exist. These programs have led to progress in all areas (production, quality, environment, and marketing) and are key to the dynamism of the sector. According to the diagnosis, the measures and actions set out in the current National Strategy are adequate and have little room for improvement.

Regarding prevention and crisis management, the participants were of the strong opinion that the current measures available were not effective in managing crises. They also concluded that more work was needed on prevention, via planning, so it's necessary to have more information. In any case, it's worth keeping in mind that there will always be crises that can't be prevented, such as those resulting from climatic, political or health issues.

All these conclusions will be the basis for designing measures that should be supported with EU funds, in order to optimize the use of available financial resources, and to design any policy affecting the fruit and vegetable sector in the future. The goal is to have a competitive sector that adapts to the current market conditions.

The results of the diagnosis were presented on October 30 at a conference held in the framework of the Fruit Attraction Fair.


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