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Spain backs organic farming but wants quality controls 

Spain is looking to encourage more organic farming but wants to guarantee top quality for consumers.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs, Isabel García Tejerina says drawing up comprehensive regulations on organic farming is a priority.

This would enable a correct response to be given to the needs of consumers and support to be provided to developing an activity that is becoming increasingly common in the European Union.

The Minister recently attended the Informal Council of EU Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers in Riga (Latvia), where discussions took place on the sustainability and growth of organic farming as a preliminary step towards reaching an agreement on the regulations for this type of farming.

In her speech, Isabel García Tejerina said Spain had the largest area given over to organic farming in the European Union, at over 1.5 million hectares. She also stressed that Spain is especially strict in terms of demands and controls on unauthorised substances.

In this regard, the Spanish minister expressed the need to convey a message that guarantees legal certainty to producers and consumers. With this in mind, she added, Spain is willing to continue working constructively to try and reach an agreement at the Council meeting due to be held in June.

The Spanish minister also said that the existence of a common European logo and the implementation of promotion campaigns have helped encourage consumers to discover the qualities of these products and identify them easily.

She also advocated maintaining the subsidies to help encourage organic farming throughout Europe and therefore lower dependency on imports.