Food Information and Control Agency

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Food Information and Control Agency
Agencia de Información y Control Alimentarios
AICA logo.png
Logotype
Agency overview
FormedJanuary 1, 2014; 8 years ago (2014-01-01)
JurisdictionSpain
HeadquartersMadrid,  Spain
Employees68 (2019)[1]
Annual budget 9.3 million, 2022[2]
Agency executive
  • Gema Hernández Maroñas, Director
Parent agencyMinistry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Websitewww.aica.gob.es

The Food Information and Control Agency (Spanish: Agencia de Información y Control Alimentarios, AICA) is the Spanish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food autonomous agency responsible for managing the information and control systems of the olericulture, dairy and other markets that the Ministry determines; the control of compliance with the Food Chain Improvement Act of 2013 and the official control of Protected Designations of Origin and Geographical Indications whose territorial scope extends to more than one autonomous community, before the commercialization.[3]

History[edit]

The AICA was created by the First Additional Provision of the Food Chain Improvement Act of 2013. This law designated the AICA as the direct successor of the Agency for Olive Oil (AAO) and it assigned it to the Department of Agriculture through the General Secretariat for Agriculture and Food.[4] However, this agency was not just focus on the olive oil industry, but in other food industries. The agency began to perform his de facto functions on January 1, 2014[5] and its internal rules were approved in April 2014.[3]

Following protests from the primary sector in 2020,[6][7] the minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, pledged, among other things, to strengthen the Agency to ensure compliance with the Food Chain Act. As a result of this commitment, at the end of 2020 the Ministry presented a budget for 2021 with an increase of two million euros compared to the 2018 budget (still in force in 2020), an increase of almost 32%.[8]

In the same vein, in December 2021 the Cortes Generales approved an amendment of the Food Chain Act. With regard to the AICA, on the one hand, it was granted full authority to access the digital registry in which the food contracts signed with the primary producers and their groups, as well as their modifications, are registered to carry out the pertinent checks within the scope of their powers. On the other hand, with the aim of promoting efficiency in management and legal certainty, the decision-making power about minor pecuniary sanctions (when they do not exceed 100,000 euros) is transferred from the Director-General for the Food Industry to the Director of the Food Information and Control Agency.[9]

Likewise, the 2021 law declares AICA as the National Execution Authority, being the highest national body responsible for ensuring compliance with the Food Chain Act and the contact point between Spain and the European Commission for these matters.[9]

Organization chart[edit]

The Agency is structured through an executive body and an advisory body:[3]

  • The executive body of the agency is the Director of the Food Information and Control Agency. The director has the rank of deputy director-general and he or she heads the agency and, as such, it directs and represents it.[3]
    • The Secretary-General, responsible for the management of human resources, internal regime, legal regime, financial and economic regime and the management and maintenance of the State Register of Good Commercial Practices in Food Contracting.[10]
    • The Technical Unit for Market Information and Inspection, which is responsible for obtaining data and its analysis and processing, as well as the planning and execution of the controls and the evaluation of its results.[10]
    • The Technical Unit for Monitoring the Chain, which is responsible for monitoring, evaluation and control of food contracts and commercial practices in the food chain, as well as the promotion of fair business practices.[10]
  • The advisory body is the Advisory Council, a collective organ composed by representatives from the General State Administration, from the Autonomous Communities and from those actors of the food chain who are interested, including consumers.[3]

List of directors[edit]

Since the agency's creation in 2014, only two persons have held the position of director:

  1. José Miguel Herrero (2014–2018)[11]
  2. Gema Hernández Maroñas (2018–)[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Resolution of September 25, 2019, of the Food Information and Control Agency, which publishes the annual accounts for the year 2018 and the audit report". www.boe.es. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  2. ^ "State Budget 2022" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b c d e "Royal Decree 227/2014, of April 4, which approves the Statute of the Information and Food Control Agency". boe.es. Retrieved 2020-03-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Law 12/2013, of August 2, on measures to improve the functioning of the food chain". www.boe.es. Retrieved 2020-03-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Nueva Agencia de Información y Control Alimentario: José Miguel Herrero se perfila como director". www.olimerca.com (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  6. ^ "Hundreds of farmers rally in Madrid to demand fairer prices". EL PAÍS English Edition. 2020-02-05. Retrieved 2021-11-08.
  7. ^ Bock, Pauline (2020-02-18). "Why are Spanish farmers protesting against low prices?". euronews. Retrieved 2021-11-08.
  8. ^ Digital, Confidencial (2020-11-05). "Agricultura eleva un 31,8% el presupuesto para la AICA y un 19% para la promoción de los alimentos españoles". Confidencial Digital (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-11-08.
  9. ^ a b "Ley 16/2021, de 14 de diciembre, por la que se modifica la Ley 12/2013, de 2 de agosto, de medidas para mejorar el funcionamiento de la cadena alimentaria". www.boe.es. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  10. ^ a b c "Nuestra estructura". www.aica.gob.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  11. ^ "Jose Miguel Herrero, nombrado director de la Agencia de Información y Control Alimentario". Master Agroalimentario (MGEA) (in Spanish). 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  12. ^ Press, Europa (2018-07-19). "Gema Hernández, nueva directora de la Agencia de Información y Control Alimentarios". www.europapress.es. Retrieved 2020-03-08.