Spain is the world’s largest producer of organic almonds and, as in the case of the non-organic product, Andalusia is the country’s main producing region.
The organic acreage (in the process of conversion, unqualified or certified) in Andalusia represents 37% of the total area devoted to almonds in the region and amounts to 71,668.0272 hectares, according to the 2020 report on organic production from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. As reported by the Prices and Markets Observatory of the Government of Andalusia, it has expanded by 12% since 2019.
With a total of 41,297 hectares, Granada accounts for 58% of Andalusia’s organic acreage. The province has achieved the highest net growth, with 5,133 hectares more. It is followed by Almeria, with 27,290 hectares and 38% of the regional production, which last year added another 1,694 hectares. In third place, far behind the other two provinces, is Malaga, with 1,421 hectares and 2% of the Andalusian acreage.
As in the case of the conventional almond production, the region’s organic production has expanded notably in recent years. The Observatory’s analysis of the 2020/21 organic almond campaign reveals that, since 2017 alone, the acreage devoted to this product in Andalusia has increased by 36.2%, from 52,611 hectares back then to 71,668 hectares last season.
The organic production totaled 11,760.7150 tons, close to 25% of the total national production.
Prices at origin that make the difference
Data from the regional Government also reveal a considerable difference between the prices at origin of organic and conventional almonds.
In the 2019/20 season, the average price at origin of non-organic almonds was 5.33 € / kg, while organic almonds reached 8.45 € / kg; 59% more.
In the 2020/21 season, this difference was even greater. Non-organic almonds had an average price of 3.50 €/kg, while organic almonds grew by 129% to record an average of 8.03 €/kg.
Spain surpasses the U.S. and Australia in organic almonds
The organic production in the United States and Australia, the top two world producers of non-organic almonds, followed by Spain, does not represent more than 1% of the total production. Besides, the forecasts made by industry experts do not point to an increase in the acreage devoted to organic almonds. “There are many limitations preventing organic almonds from thriving in the world’s two major almond producers, with a key one being the use of a continuous picking system that throws fruit to the ground, where problems caused by fungi and aflatoxins often appear, making it essential to fumigate. Also, many soft-shelled varieties are planted, there’s pressure from pests such as Anarsia, and yields are predominantly high (up to 4,500 kg net per hectare).”
Publication date: Mon 29 Nov 2021
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