The fruit andvegetable sector plays a very important role in both agriculture and theSpanish economy as a whole. The sector accounts for 37% of all finalagricultural production. This figure is highly significant and has increased inrecent years from 32% in 2000 to 37% in 2006.
It is expectedthat we will see this rising trend in the agricultural production market shareof this sector continue into the future as a result of the implementation ofthe CAP reform and the subsequent disassociation of financial aid.
The fruit andvegetable sector is clearly aimed at the export market, with exports accountingfor up to 50% of production in many crops, such as citrus fruits, peaches, tomatoes,lettuce and peppers.
The fruit andvegetable sector has been traditionally characterised by its independence frompublic authorities and its direct market approach, especially the foreignmarkets. Public support of this sector through the OCM is minimal: the budgetfor the FEOGA Fruit and Vegetable Guarantee in Spain represents a mere 3% of theproduction value from this sector.
Production isfragmented to such an extent that only 40% is traded through Producers'Organisations. The impact on society in terms of labour is highly significantas the sector represents a fundamental source of employment in the areas wherecrops are grown, both in tasks associated with the production orcommercialisation of fruits and vegetables and in dependent activities andactivities connected to this activity.
The total crop areadedicated to the fruit and vegetable sector is approximately 1.7 millionhectares; 9.5% of Spanish agricultural land and 24% of all land subject toirrigation practices.
Dried fruit andnuts are the type of crop in this sector with the largest cultivated area,covering in excess of 600,000 hectares. Excluding nut trees, with a more extensivecrop than all other products from the sector, we find that the sector accountsfor 6.5% of total SAU in Spain.
Information takenfrom the "Estrategia nacional de losprogramas operativos sostenibles a desarrollar por las organizaciones deproductores de frutas y hortalizas" ["National strategy for the sustainableoperations programmes to be developed by fruit and vegetable producers' organisations"].See attached file for more information.