Spain’s organic lemon acreage has almost quadrupled in the past decade, reaching 8,300ha last year. It now accounts for 17 per cent of total planted area, producing 172,642 tonnes in 2020.
Lemon and grapefruit interprofessional association Ailimpo predicts that in the short term, organic lemons will make up a quarter of total acreage.
According to a 2019 survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, lemons represent 43 per cent of overall organic citrus production, which is located in the Andalusia, Murcia and Valencia regions.
“Demand for organic lemons is growing,” said Ailimpo. “More and more people see a trend in nature. European consumers are interested in the origin and quality of their food and how it was cultivated.”
Ailimpo said the increase in organic acreage reflected the wider European move towards greater production of organic food. The ‘From Farm to Table’ strategy set out under the European Green Pact aims for 25 per cent of planted area to be organic by 2030.
“This type of cultivation comes from an agriculture that preserves and increases biodiversity by promoting the planting of hedges and trees; by suppressing the synthetic products that affect the fauna and the entire food chain,” Ailimpo said.