95 Food Law sanctions in first half of the year

The Agencia de Información y Control Alimentario (AICA), the Spanish agency responsible for monitoring and compliance of food laws, has carried out 354 official inspections to guarantee compliance with the Food Chain Law, imposed 95 sanctions and received nine complaints in the first half of the year, according to data presented in the Advisory Council meeting.

Specifically, 45% of these sanctions are motivated by non-compliance with payment deadlines, an infraction that takes place in the wholesale sector and in the industry sector.

The Secretary General of Agriculture and Food, Fernando Miranda, has highlighted that the work carried out by the AICA agency guarantees balanced, fair and transparent trade relations within the agri-food sector.

The fruit and vegetable sector is the one in which the most inspections have been carried out between January and June (135), followed by meat (132), dairy (61), honey (23), wine (2) and olive oil (1).

As a result of the control subprograms, the agency has inspected 697 commercial relationships in the first half of the year, mainly on fruits and vegetables (283), meat (184), dairy (183), honey (44), wine (2) and olive oil (1). In addition, it has carried out 2,264 actions aimed at verifying that the requirements established in the law are met.

Specifically, it has carried out 822 checks to confirm the existence of contracts and review their content in the fruit and vegetable sector (47%), in the live chicken sector (43%), raw cow, sheep and goat milk (5%); and that of beef (3%). And it has made 1,442 reports on abusive commercial practices.

In this sense, Miranda has ensured that the proper application of the new law of the chain is the “best asset” to deal with the situation suffered by the agricultural markets after the invasion of Ukraine with the increase in the prices of raw materials, fuels and supplies. To which are added the inclement weather and the drought situation that affect the crops and the feeding of the cattle.

The Secretary General of Agriculture has highlighted the need to guarantee “decent remuneration” that allows farms to be maintained and their profitability to ensure the availability of food in these extreme situations, where control of raw materials and food has become a “potent, dangerous and destabilising weapon”.

In this context, he has appealed to “the union, the responsibility, the commitment and the shared effort between all the operators of the chain to face the challenges and advance quickly in the effectiveness of this law”.

In this way, in the first semester, the AICA has investigated nine complaints for alleged breaches of the Law of the Chain: fruits and vegetables (4), dairy (2), wine (1), olive oil (1) and table olives (1).

Overall, since its entry into operation in 2014, the AICA has carried out a total of 6,142 inspections, which have led to the imposition of 3,149 sanctions for an amount of more than 13.6 million euro, most of which has fallen on the retail commercial distribution, with almost 8.7 million euro. Until the date of preparation of this report, 87% of the total amounts of the sanctions imposed (11.8 million euro) have been paid.