The Spanish consumer is still reluctant to buy organic products, due to the growing good image of the conventional sector, the usual smaller size of organic fruits and still higher prices. The opinions of some Spanish experts of the sector.
According to Andrés Góngora, COAG provincial secretary, there are two reasons why the Spanish consumer is still not much attracted by organic fruit and vegetables. The first one is that “the conventional industry is more and more delivering a good image to all industry, and buyers are increasingly confident about the safety of these products. Controls on conventionally grown fruit and vegetables are stricter and stricter, which allows to obtain the best quality possible”, he argues.
Another reason explained by Góngora is that “the appearance of an organic product is less attractive than that of a conventional one, since organic fruit and vegetables often don’t have the same good size nor brightness and color as the product grown with conventional farming”, COAG secretary concluded,
Also the price is an influential factor, as organic fresh produce is certainly more expensive than conventional. The citrus fruit organic sector in particular is experiencing a very difficult situation in Spain. Juan Torres, manager of Cítricos del Andarax, revealed that “this year we are having much less demand for organic citrus compared to previous seasons. The main reason is that countries like Morocco and Egypt are also producing organically, and they sell at much cheaper prices than ours”.
“Organic citrus have no future in our province (Almería) – declared Diego Castaño, in charge of citrus at Asaja-Almería agricultural organization -. We can hardly use any product when farming so products are always less attracting. Also, thanks to the biological treatments now available for farming the conventional production is more and more similar to the organic one.”
Very hard times therefore for the Spanish organic sector according to the report by the website Ideal.es. New strategies will have to be developed, starting from the destination markets on which to focus. Germany is the most important one for Spain’s organic products at the moment, but others like Switzerland, UK and Russia should be targeted considering their increasing awareness of the healthier benefits of organic fruit and vegetables.
Text: green planet