Despite the positive data from Spanish bio-exports, the greater increase in imports and an uneven behaviour respect to exports of conventional products constitute the main challenges of the national organic sector

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One of the main feature of Spanish organic production is the high performance of internationalization it has, with significant increases in both exports and imports. This is specially evident in the fact that exports of Spanish organic products reached 778 Mill€ in 2015 and imports reached 431 Mill€ . These figures represent an increase of 151% in the last four years in exports and 196% in the case of imports, as stated in the latest report on the organic market published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA).

Last year, exports grown close to 7.5% in relation to the previous year, rising from 724 Mill€ in 2014 to 778 in 2015, while imports continue to grow even more reaching 18% in 2015.

Exportar productos ecológicos

Evolución de importaciones y exportaciones de productos ecológicos nacionales

Exportaciones e Importaciones de productos ecologicos

Evolución del sector ecológico respecto al convencional

What does Spain export?

Four main categories dominate spanish bio exports : wines, fruits and vegetables and olive oil. 90% of exports are concentrated among these four families   However only  5% of exports represent products of animal origin.

The most important destination for our exports are the European Union (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands, among others); and less than 10% to non-EU countries (USA, Mexico, China, South Korea and Australia).

Estructura Exportaciones Productos Ecológicos

Estructura de las exportaciones productos ecológicos nacionales


So, what does Spain import?

The range of imported organic products are mainly cereal and soy derivatives, exotic seasonal fruits and vegetables; baby food; dietary product; dairy, coffee, tea, infusions, cocoa milks and derivates , as well as feed and raw materials for farms or organic industries. Our main providers come out of UE ( Germany, France, Netherlands and Italy) as well as US, South America and India.


The main challenges of the spanish organic sector

The first challenge is the difference between the type of product we export and import. The national exports  mainly supplies fresh products as well as wines and oils, however, the demand for organic products by Spanish consumer causes the importation of processed products. This could have been caused due to a lack of national ecological industry unable to meet the needs of domestic consumption.

At the same time, the analysis of the conventional figures shows that trade balance for the period 2011-2015 in  conventional sector has rised 168% although organics balance have only rised 17%. This situation was due mainly to the important increase of the exports of conventional products that, in the case of the organic exports, did not have that growth generating a competitive gap.

The structure of the national bio-sector, where small and medium-sized farmers and industrial infrastructures predominate, may be generating a lack of competitiveness with respect to the conventional agri-food sector




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