13 Sep Organic farming in Spain
Olive groves play a leading role in the efforts to develop organic agriculture in Spain. Organic olive groves already cover an area larger than the area of Luxembourg. This crop is also the second fastest growing category of organic arable land.
According to Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Spain is on the way to achieving one of the main sustainable development goals set by the European Commission earlier this year. In March 2021, the goal was set to increase the share of agricultural land occupied by organic agriculture to 25% by 2030.Planas said that as of last year, 10% of Spain’s agricultural land is already processed organically.
According to the ministry, one out of 10 hectares of organically cultivated agricultural land in Spain is reserved for olive groves. Organic olive groves cover 222,723 hectares. In total, organic olive groves account for about 326,000 tons of olives per year, of which 99% are used for the production of olive oil.
Andalusia has the largest share of organic olive groves – 88,691 hectares – and a total of about 1.1 million hectares of organic arable land. Castile-La Mancha follows closely behind with 74,154 hectares of organic olive groves and 423,000 hectares of organic agricultural land. Cantabria, located on the northern coast of Spain near the Bay of Biscay, is the only autonomous community without organic olive groves.
Of the 8 main permanent crops monitored by the Ministry, there are more olive groves than any other type. Nuts are the second largest category, with 196941 hectares allocated for organic cultivation.
Globally, only Australia and Argentina allocate more land for organic farming, but their areas are generally much larger than Spain.