The agri-food sector of Andalusia is the largest in Spain and accounts for 12.8% (19,440 million euros) to the regional gross value added and 16% (489,000 people) of total employment in its economy in 2021. At the national level, it contributes 19.5% of the gross value added and 21.8% of the total number of people employed in the Spanish agri-food activity.
The second exporter
These data are collected in the Observatorio sobre el sector agroalimentario de las regiones españolas. The report highlights the evolution of the sector’s export from Andalusia. With a value sold abroad of 12,491 million euros, the Andalusian agri-food sector is the second exporter in Spain, only behind Catalonia, contributing for 21.1% of the total exported and with the largest trade surplus (7,000 million euros).
The region has been Spain’s leading producer of olive oil, vegetables and fresh fruit for decades. The main agri-food products of Andalusia are legumes, vegetables, fats and oils and edible fruits and nuts, with the EU-27 being the main destination.
In the region, there are 5,604 companies engaged in the agri-food sector, 18.5% of the total of the national industry, the highest number of the Spanish regions.
The high productivity of the Andalusian agri-food sector and the containment of the average cost of labor (80.2% of companies are micro-enterprises or without employees) place it in the fourth most competitive place in the entire country.
Sustainability and innovation
The report also dedicates a section to actions aimed at improving the sustainability of the sector. In this context, Andalusia has almost half (48.9%) of the area cultivated in ecological agriculture in Spain, a percentage of almost four points (3.8%) more than a year ago, demonstrating its commitment to sustainability.
Last but not least, in terms of innovation in the agri-food sector, Andalusia represents 10.3% of all AEI-Agri (European Associations for Innovation in Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability) operating groups active throughout Spain (46 out of 445) and develops 6.7% of innovative agricultural projects (47 out of 698) of the entire national group.