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Spain: Food Information and Control Agency carried out 354 inspections in first half of 2022

Christian Fernsby |
Since its entry into operation in 2014, the AICA has carried out 6,142 inspections, which have led to the imposition of 3,149 sanctions for an amount of more than 13.6 million euros.

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The Food Information and Control Agency (AICA) has presented at the meeting of its Advisory Council the report corresponding to the first semester of the year 2022, in which it is stated that it has carried out a total of 354 ex officio inspections to guarantee compliance with the law of the chain. In this period, it has received 9 complaints for alleged breaches and has imposed 95 sanctions.

It should be noted that 45% of these sanctions are motivated by non-compliance with payment deadlines, an infraction that takes place in the wholesale sector and in the industry sector.

The Secretary General of Agriculture and Food, Fernando Miranda, has highlighted that the work carried out by the Food Information and Control Agency guarantees balanced, fair and transparent trade relations within the agri-food sector.

The fruit and vegetable sector is the one in which the most inspections have been carried out between January and June (135), followed by meat (132), dairy (61), honey (23), wine (2) and oil olive (1). Since its creation, in 2014, the AICA has established itself as a benchmark in the inspection and control of the food chain.

As a result of the control subprograms, the agency has inspected 697 trade relations in the first half of the year, mainly on fruits and vegetables (283), meat (184), dairy (183), honey (44), wine (2) and olive oil (1). In addition, it has carried out 2,264 actions aimed at verifying that the requirements established in the law are met.

Specifically, it has carried out 822 checks to confirm the existence of contracts and review their content in the fruit and vegetable sector (47%), in the live chicken sector (43%), in the raw cow, sheep and goat milk sector (5 %); and that of beef (3%). And it has made 1,442 on abusive commercial practices.

In this sense, Fernando Miranda has ensured that the proper application of the new law of the chain is the best asset to face the situation suffered by the agricultural markets after the invasion of Ukraine with the increase in the prices of raw materials, fuels and supplies. To this must be added the inclement weather and the drought that affect crops and livestock feed.

The Secretary General of Agriculture has highlighted the need to guarantee decent remuneration that allows farms to be maintained and their profitability to ensure the availability of food in these extreme situations, where the control of raw materials and food has become a weapon powerful, dangerous and destabilizing.

In this context, unity, responsibility, commitment and a shared effort among all the operators in the chain are necessary to face the challenges and make rapid progress in the effectiveness of this law.

Disclosure of this law is essential for its implementation. It is necessary to achieve a change of culture that stimulates the participation of all in observing its adequate application and, where appropriate, denouncing its non-compliance.

In the first half of 2022, the AICA has investigated 9 complaints for alleged breaches of the Chain Law: fruit and vegetables (4), dairy (2), wine (1), olive oil (1) and olives from table (1).

Overall, since its entry into operation in 2014, the AICA has carried out 6,142 inspections, which have led to the imposition of 3,149 sanctions for an amount of more than 13.6 million euros. Most of it falls on the retail commercial distribution sector, with almost 8.7 million euros. Until the date of preparation of this report, 87% of the total amounts of the sanctions imposed (11.8 million euros) have been paid.

After the entry into force of the modification of the chain law, on December 16, 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is working on the development of this standard. The Cooperation Committee of the Enforcement Authorities has already been created in coordination with the autonomous communities, which guarantees the application and control of the law in all the territories in a uniform manner and multiplies the inspection activity.

In addition, the royal decrees by which the registration of food contracts is developed and the Statute of the Food Information and Control Agency are being processed. The new law has established the obligation to create a digital registry in which food contracts worth more than 1,000 euros that are signed with primary producers and their associations must be registered, as well as their modifications, before the delivery of the product.

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