Exports of organic products grow with the region as the protagonist
18 Apr 2022
Although for Río Negro this year there was a drop in farms under organic monitoring, the province together with Neuquén are producers of some of the fruits with the highest volume exported with pear, apple and pear puree in the lead.
The export of organic products grows in the country and the region is the protagonist. A few days ago, the latest annual report on the situation of organic production in Argentina -prepared by Senasa- was released, showing that exports reached 143,000 tons last year, which means a rise in volume 11% year-on-year.
The main destination of sales was the United States (45% of the total exported) and the European Union (38%). The report shows that the harvested area of organic fruit rose by 44% and the main producing provinces are Río Negro (41%), Tucumán (25%) and Neuquén (11%).
A year ago, Río Negro and Neuquén formed a North Patagonia Organic and Agroecological Production Table, framed in the Organic Argentina 2030 Strategic Plan that seeks to promote the development of the region’s organic and agroecological sector and channel the demands that arise from the public and the private.
“Although it is incipient, work is being done. The sector is heard about certain inconveniences that they may have, such as access to supplies, producer records and how to promote the consumption of these products in the domestic market,” said Pablo De Azevedo, Undersecretary of Fruit Production.
To be marketed, organic products need to obtain a specific certification. In Argentina, last year 98% of the certified production was sold abroad and today the consumption in the domestic market of certified organic products is very low.
“Within organic production -by not being able to do certain treatments-, a wounded fruit cannot be exported, because the weather makes it rot. That fruit remains in the domestic market or goes to the Brazilian market. It is certified organic, but it is not marketed as organic fruit and does not achieve price differentiation, which is why we seek to promote the domestic market,” De Azevedo explained.
Removal of farms under monitoring
The sale of organic products in the world has been increasing strongly in recent years, in line with the emergence of consumption associated with well-being and healthy living, an imprint that the pandemic accelerated.
Río Negro has been on the cutting edge for years as a producer. Until last year, it was the province with the highest percentage of production units under monitoring, but this year, the increase in Mendoza and a decrease in Río Negro stood out.
“It is a growing niche, but there is also more offer, and more competitors. At the time it was very beneficial to do organic production but today, due to the macroeconomic variables of an unstable dollar or the appearance of other competitors; Added to the higher cost of production, due to the products used and the certifications that must be paid, they make it not so beneficial,” explained the official.
Of the 10,895 ha harvested from organic fruit trees, the most important crops are pears (24%) and apples (20%), in Río Negro and Neuquén, and lemons (18%) and blueberries (12%) in Tucumán. .
What is exported the most is the pear, but for the apple, the main destination today is the domestic or Latin American market, which has grown a lot in these years, and has a good price. “For this reason, some producers make these decisions to leave the organic because the margin does not give, but I think they are annual issues, or conjunctural. The producer who started the path in the organic rarely leaves it because he sees the benefits”, said the undersecretary.
Pablo De Azevedo analyzed that there are even production establishments that go a step further in what is biodynamic production certification and add value-added certifications to open up the possibility of reaching other destinations that perhaps other world producers do not reach.
Organic Production in Argentina 2021
–The Senasa report entitled “Situation of Organic Production in Argentina during 2021”, revealed that last year the organic area harvested rose by 14% and reached 96,476 hectares in total, “sustaining the growth trend of the last 10 years ”.
–The products of plant origin with the highest volume exported were cane sugar, pear, soybeans, wine, apple, pear puree, wheat, cranberry and garlic, while among products of animal origin those from sheep activity stood out.
–Based on the scenario painted by the Ukraine/Russia war (one of the main buyers is the European Union), we have to see how the market reacts. Taking that factor out, the prospects are good.
–To be marketed, organic products need to obtain a certification. In Argentina, last year 98% of the certified production was sold abroad.
Source: Rio Negro
¿Qué son los productos orgánicos?
Son productos que se obtienen de sistemas productivos sustentables. Esto se logra mediante:
- el uso racional de los recursos naturales.
- la no utilización de productos de síntesis química (insecticidas, fertilizantes y herbicidas entre otros).
- el incremento y/o mantenimiento de la fertilidad.
- el incremento y/o mantenimiento de la biodiversidad.
- el respaldo por medio de registros que avalen el manejo aplicado.
Un producto orgánico debe poseer identidad e integridad y debe estar certificado por OIA.