The acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, chaired the presentation of the Socioeconomic Report of the beer sector in Spain in 2018, an analysis that highlights both the socio-economic importance of this sector, as its dynamism and growth in recent years.

Planas has underlined the opportunities that the growth of the brewing sector offers to farmers that cultivate varieties of barley and hops of higher quality, and that are more connected with the industry and the demands of consumers. To this end, it has encouraged the sector to continue advancing in quality, sustainability and innovation.

Growth of the sector

During the presentation, Planas stressed that 2018 has been a good year for the brewing sector, which has increased its sales due to the boost of tourism and increased consumption in the hotel trade, a situation that benefits the entire production chain.

Also, the minister stressed that Spain is the fourth largest beer producer in Europe and a reference worldwide. He stressed that in this sector Spain is an "export power", in reference to sales abroad have continued to grow in 2018 and have multiplied by four in the last 10 years.

It has also assessed the patterns of Mediterranean consumption of beer in our country, since it maintains responsible, moderate and social consumption and has pointed out that Spain is a leader in the consumption of beer without alcohol.

Emphasis has been placed on entrepreneurship in this sector, above all, of young people who are committed to the production of craft beers, and stressed that this "dynamism" is reflected in the rural environment and helps set the population.

In this sense, he highlighted the support that many of these initiatives, small breweries driven by young people, find in the large groups that support these "start up" (emerging companies) and that are a sample of the dynamism of the whole of Spanish society.

Opportunities for agriculture

In order for Spanish agriculture to take better advantage of the growth of the beer sector, Planas has pointed out the need to achieve greater integration between the different links in the chain, as well as to advance in the use of certified seeds to achieve better yields, higher quality and even adopt varieties more adapted to climate change.

The minister considers that there are opportunities to increase the production of malt and hops, given the growing demand, and open new marketing channels. In this context, he has encouraged to undertake the modernization of the sector, betting on aromatic varieties, improve facilities and increase the association.

To contribute to the development of the sector, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food It has recently published a Royal Decree that establishes provisions of the community regulations on hops certification and recognition of producer organizations. This regulation approves the regulatory bases for state aid for the establishment of new hops plantations, reconversion or improvement of existing ones, and for the acquisition of specific machinery.

Planas has valued the work of innovation supra-autonomous field operating groups, supported through the National Rural Development Program, that develop projects to make agriculture more sustainable and efficient in the use of resources, in line with the objectives of the future Common Agricultural Policy (PAC) and with the demands of society.

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