Economy works together with certifiers to promote organic production in Mendoza

12 Sep 2022

The Department of Agriculture began meetings to coordinate a work plan with the aim of promoting the development and growth of producers who work with this agricultural modality. Fairs, business rounds and training are planned.

The Ministry of Economy and Energy, through the Directorate of Agriculture, is advancing joint work with certifying entities for organic products to promote the development and growth of producers who work with this agricultural modality.

As detailed from the province’s economic portfolio, organic production in Mendoza has been giving concrete signs of growth. That is why strategies are being outlined to provide support, assistance and continuous accompaniment throughout the process.

Valentina Navarro Canafoglia, Mendoza’s director of Agriculture, met with 3 of the 4 certifiers of organic products that operate in the local territory, to thus advance a sustained strategic plan. “From the Government of the Province we have been accompanying the sector with various tools. We understand that we must reinforce what is necessary so that the growth that the sector has been showing is exponential”, he commented.

The official pointed out that for this, Valeria López, from the International Agricultural Organization (OIA) and representatives of other certifiers were summoned in the first instance.

“In all of this, ProMendoza plays a fundamental role. This organization has been working hard on the development and strengthening of this sector. Organic products do not have a growth ceiling. The local demand is much broader than the supply and, if we add to this the international demand for these products, we find ourselves with a very important possibility of growth”, remarked Navarro Canafoglia.

“We have agreed to advance a training plan through representative institutions of the sector in Mendoza. Working under this modality requires being up to date in terms of requirements to comply with the corresponding regulations that regulate the sector”, closed the head of Agriculture.

In turn, Valeria López, from OIA, commented: “I think it is very important that the Government is interested in promoting a differentiation of products, such as organic certification, sustainability, and that they are taken into account as main objectives the care of resources, especially water, which in Mendoza is scarce and so precious”.

“It is important that both the Government and the certifiers and the entities that can help producers to learn about this type of differentiated agriculture give each other a hand to reach the producer, that they know each other and that they can develop this type of production,” he closed. 

As a first step, everyone interested in starting an organic production process should contact one of these four certified certifiers to begin the process of transferring from a regular production system to an organic one. In the case of uncultivated fields, the process is a little simpler still.

However, in either of the two cases, the regulations stipulate that three years must elapse from the beginning of the certification process until the approval by the certifying companies, which is the time it takes to purify the land and when it is you can start working organically.

Once the corresponding certification is achieved, each product has a differential value that, as it is certified organic, is between 25% and 50%, depending on the type of product. In turn, the possibilities of growth in the internal and external markets are considerably expanded.

About the industry

According to the latest report on Organic Production in Argentina, a document prepared by the National Directorate for Food Safety and Quality, the harvested area in 2021 was 96,476 hectares. Compared to 2020, the harvested area increased 14%. Mendoza has 12,096 hectares and the growth curve is in line with the upward trend at the national level.

The report highlights that the number of farms with organic monitoring decreased 0.5% nationwide (1,336 establishments). However, Mendoza stood out for the increase in this variable by 16%, going from 231 establishments in 2020 to 268 in 2021. This data positions Mendoza as the province with the most agricultural establishments with organic monitoring: 20% compared to the national level.

Other extremely important data highlighted by the report emphasize that Mendoza has the main organic harvested area of ​​industrial crops nationwide, participating with wine and olive oil. It is also the main horticultural one, with garlic as the main crop.