The climate crisis once again marked the 2023 agricultural year in the Spanish countryside

Fruits and vegetables, pork and milk explain the rise in agricultural income in a year marked by the climate crisis. Cereals, olive groves and vineyards bear the brunt. 2023 has been the year of consolidation of the Food Chain Law and the new CAP begins to be applied without drama.

The data confirms it: 2023 has been the worst year in history – since there are records – in terms of meteorology. This has caused serious losses in very important sectors of Spanish agriculture, especially in olive groves, cereals and vineyards, with reductions of up to 50% in the value of production, and with clear effects on the entire food chain, in the form of increasing prices for consumers.

The Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA) has prepared its report for the year 2023 sector by sector, with a balance that they describe as “disheartening”, for several reasons: The global income figure grows by 11% compared to 2022, which is It is explained by the behavior of fruits and vegetables, pork and milk production, sectors that contribute more than 41,000 million of the total of about 65,000. However, other sectors of enormous importance for Spain, such as arable crops, olive groves or vineyards, have had "brutal" reductions, due to bad weather, which has skyrocketed agricultural insurance figures both in contracting and in compensation, as well as subsidies, which are the largest in history, covering up to 70% of the costs.

In this context, farmers and ranchers have mostly covered their production costs which, despite having decreased by 4.6% compared to 2022, remain at “skyrocketing” levels compared to 2020 and 2021. The Law of Food Chain – with its public sanctions and the new registry of contracts – has left its positive effect in a very complex year marked by drought. It is demonstrated that it is and will be a key tool in the future of the food chain.

2023 has also been the first year of application of the new Common Agricultural Policy. The CAP has begun to be applied with enormous effort on the part of the technicians of the agricultural organizations, who have encountered numerous difficulties in the processing. But it is also true that the new legislation leaves tangible effects already in the Spanish countryside, denying the doomsaying voices that have been trying to torpedo the reform for years.

Author: Alejandro Martínez



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