The Council of Ministers approved on Wednesday, January 31st, the draft Law on organic production and quality standards for agricultural products and food, which aims to promote the sector’s diversification.

The text, presented by the Environment, Agriculture and Sustainability Minister, Silvia Calvó, creates an organic certification and extends quality-controlled regimes to food production in order to promote local productions committed to quality.

The draft Law also aims at providing guarantees in this sector, since the European Union’s quality standards were not legally recognised in Andorra.

Until now, Andorran legislation had already provided quality standards for agricultural products such as meat and wine, but it was not possible to apply this scheme to other products made from non-agricultural foodstuffs, such as jam or cold cuts. Thus, the new legislation will extend the application of quality standards to all food production, whether it is agricultural or not.

The law wants to give added value with the distinctives “Product of Andorra” and “Product elaborated in Andorra”. Another novelty of the legal text is the organic certification.

To promote quality standards and organic production, the law provides subsidies to compensate increasing production due to these adaptations to new requirements. At present, subsidies exist for quality-controlled products, which by 2018 will represent 360,000 euros, and this allotment will have to be progressively increased according to demand.

The minister also presented the creation of the control authority, in compliance with the requirements of these certifications. This entity will be formed by different departments of the Administration and will depend on the Ministry of Agriculture.

Text: Govern d’Andorra