Agrifood sectors priorities facing Spain's upcoming EU presidency

In the midst of a wave of food inflation and drought-related supply problems, the Spanish agricultural sector is calling on the government to defend a model that guarantees Europe's food sovereignty and the sector's profitability, both of which are threatened by environmental demands.


On July 1, 2023, Spain will assume the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, after holding it for the last time in 2010. Among other legislative initiatives, the Spanish government intends to push forward proposals for regulations on NGT’s (New Genomic Techniques) and on the geographical indications system.


The general political context, and the agrifood context in particular, make this presidency particularly important. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have put the agrifood sector at the top of the EU agenda and redefined priorities within the sector. For this reason, progress in the sustainability of agriculture, fisheries and food systems will be the fundamental issue that will mark Spain's agenda of priorities during its presidency.

In order to draw up a road map to define the needs of the agrifood sectors, a meeting was organized in which representatives of all links in the chain presented their priorities.

Production and processing

Greater economic integration, a more cohesive single market and common rules for all were proposed in terms of how to tackle the change in the current production model. The organizations agreed on the need to guarantee food security and supply in the face of geopolitical change. They also asked the Spanish presidency to open a debate within the EU on the future of the social and professional model of agriculture in order to counteract the access of private equity funds from outside the sector.


With regard to environmental sustainability and the objectives of the Green Deal, a debate was called for to strike a balance beyond agricultural policies. The EU needs to set bold policies to advance the competitiveness and sustainability of the present and future agricultural model. NGT’s, which will be the main topic of the informal Council of Ministers in September, fall within this framework.

Another issue addressed was the need for measures to ensure generational renewal by promoting traditional, family-based agriculture. Animal welfare regulations are another Spanish priority that could limit the export of live animals by road.

The producer sector also called for a readjustment of CAP budget as well as for the EC to review the national strategic plans to take into account the current situation of production costs and the unfavorable climatic conditions in a good number of member states.


Retailers and hospitality sector

The establishment of proportionate and harmonized regulations to promote free and fair competition in the international market was identified as a priority. At the same time, a EU policy based on the principles of non-discriminatory regulation between member states, allowing the free movement of goods and services.

The EU must make progress in concluding trade agreements with third countries that favor the interests of European companies. They also requested that Spain encourage the EC to analyze possible new agreements.

The organizations also called for a review of the deadlines for complying with the Green Deal, whose priorities may have changed with current developments, such as the skyrocketing inflation.



They called for food supply to be secured through the efforts of all links in the chain. They also focused on some important regulations that are currently being debated, such as those concerning food labelling, phytosanitary products and the regulation of deforestation, as well as the packaging regulation.

Two other issues of concern to consumer organizations were food labelling and online grocery shopping , for which they were calling for greater security.

The full document in Spanish here: Prioridades de la agroalimentación española ante la presidencia de la UE (