Spain has new organization for fruits and vegetables
The general director of Industria Alimentaria (Food Industry) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Fernando Burgaz, and the president of the Interprofessional Organization for Fruits and Vegetables of Andalusia (Hortyfruta), Francisco Góngora, signed the document creating the Spanish Interprofessional Organization for Fruits and Vegetables (Hortiespaña).
The organization is formed by eight associations comprising a total of 719 horticultural companies. Its members handle 3,032,863 tonnes of greenhouse-grown fruit and vegetables, of which 53 percent is devoted to exports, and whose value amounts to 2.682 million Euro. It controls 42,027 hectares of production, 17,790 growers and 60,000 employees; 70 percent of Spain's total.
Horticultural products under the organization's protection include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, courgettes, aubergines, green beans, melons and watermelons produced in greenhouses, but the list may be expanded with the incorporation of other associations. The main export destinations, in order of importance, are Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy.
With Hortiespaña, Spanish greenhouse horticulture will have the tools to launch promotional campaigns to improve its image and put the focus on the excellence of its products, focusing on aspects like quality, food safety, traceability, biological control, environmental sustainability, social inclusion and health benefits for the consumer.
Spain is currently the leading exporter of fresh fruits and vegetables, with the European market remaining as the main destination for the fruit and vegetable products controlled by Hortiespaña.
Hortiespaña seeks to define the framework of a future European Interprofessional Organization. The ultimate goal is to be able to manage the European production, marketing and distribution and ensure a more effective and transparent value chain in the European market for all actors involved. ■