Celebrating the richness of agri-foods on Castilla y León Day

April 23rd is a special date for the people of Castilla y León since it is celebrated as the Day of Castilla y León It is an occasion to honor the rich history, culture and traditions of this Autonomous Community of Spain. On this day, it is inevitable not to highlight the importance of the agri-food sector, which is not only an integral part of the region’s identity, but also plays a crucial role in its economy and development.

Castilla y León is known for its extensive farmland, its vineyards that produce some of the best wines in Spain and its rich diversity of agri-food products. From the wheat fields that nourish the bread industry to the pastures where cattle graze to produce the delicious meat and dairy products of the region, where the sheep sector stands out, with suckling lamb and cheese as the most outstanding products. In short, every corner of Castilla y León is impregnated with the essence of agriculture and livestock, protected under several quality figures.

On this special day, it is important to reflect on the fundamental role that farmers and ranchers play in the production of quality food and in the preservation of agricultural traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Furthermore, the agri-food sector in our Autonomous Community not only contributes to the local economy, but also promotes environmental sustainability and the revitalization and development of the rural environment.

The agri-food products of Castilla y León enjoy well-deserved national and international recognition for their quality and authenticity. From designations of origin of renowned wines, such as Ribera del Duero, Toro, Rueda or Bierzo, to emblematic products such as black pudding from Burgos and jerky from León. Not to mention the cheese sector, which is represented by products of excellent quality such as those under the Protected Geographical Indications of Castilian cheese, Valdeón cheese and Zamorano cheese. Therefore, it is important to take into account the role of the primary sector in the Spanish economy and the value it generates.

The primary sector in data

Agriculture and livestock are part of a very important sector for our country. During 2023, the GDP of this sector in Castilla y León grew by 2% in the second quarter compared to 4.3% at the beginning of the year. In the case of Spain, GDP in the third quarter of the year fell by 3.4% with respect to the second quarter.

The agricultural surface area of Spain represents more than 23 million hectares, almost half of the Spanish territory, of which 3.4 million hectares belong to Castilla y León, making it one of the communities with the greatest presence in the primary sector. As a result, this sector generates numerous jobs; more specifically, approximately 1,200,000 jobs were generated in the first quarter. Exports from the agri-food sector accounted for 18.4% of the Spanish economy’s total sales in 2023. A large part of these exports have been thanks to the quality and recognition of our products outside the country, highlighting once again its gastronomic culture.

All this is due to the fact that Spain occupies an important place in Europe and the rest of the world in terms of food safety. High food safety standards ensure the safety of the food offered to the consumer. Thus, Spain is positioned as the fourth agri-food power in Europe and tenth in the world, thanks to the quality of its products. Therefore, the Spanish agri-food sector enjoys great prestige in international markets.

In short, the primary sector is a fundamental part of the Spanish economy, since it is thanks to this sector that Spain’s agri-food wealth is valued. In addition, special emphasis should be placed on the care of the raw materials used to manufacture the products, since this is the DNA of what characterizes the sector: quality, excellence and avant-garde.

On the Day of Castilla y León, let’s toast and enjoy the diversity and excellence of the agri-food products of this land. Let us toast to the tireless work of those who produce them and to the legacy of knowledge and passion transmitted from generation to generation. May each dish and each glass remind us of the importance of valuing and preserving the gastronomic heritage of our community, today and always.

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