Spain: 2016 data on organic farming confirm the sector growth (IT)


The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment has published the first data on organic production in Spain for 2016. These data confirm the sustained growth trend and consolidation of the sector which makes Spain the first producer at European level and among the top five major producing countries worldwide.

In 2016, the total area dedicated to organic production increased by 2.5% compared to 2015, reaching nearly 2.019.000 ha. Half of this area is intended for permanent pasture, while a quarter hosts arable crops and the rest permanent crops. Conversion surfaces have also tripled compared to the previous year, thus showing the strong growth potential of Spanish organic sector.

The number of operators also increased (+ 5.3%) to 39,744, with an increase in all categories: producers +4,4%, processors + 9,9%, importers + 23%, exporters + 27% and traders + 17%. These data show the rise in the number of operators at all levels of the organic food chain due to increased consumers’ demand of products.

As far as plant production is concerned, cereals and tubers, as well as vegetables, fruits, nuts, citrus fruits and vineyards have increased. Concerning animal production, producers have increased the same, with a doubling in particular for dairy cattle, but also - in a lesser way - cattle, sheep and poultry grown for meat.

As for the above, also the agri-food industry showed a positive growth trend (+ 9%, 5,663 holdings, of which 952 were related to animal production). These latter holdings showed a decline in dairy productions, with a simultaneous increase in the number of the other type of produce.


The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture provided also data on controls: those undertaken in 2016 were 46,632. During controls, 4,443 samples were analyzed, ie 11% of the total. Out of these, only 7% had an unfavorable analytical feedback. The number of irregularities or infringements  were 942 (it they were 965 in 2015). All of these data demonstrate the high level of compliance of the Spanish organic sector, as only 2% of the controlled operators was found to be irregular.


Source: Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente