Информационная система по разнообразию домашних животных (ИС-РДЖ)

Spanish label 100% autochthonous breed


Spain has a significant livestock heritage. Its geographic location, diversity of ecosystems, climate, landscapes and cultural traditions have resulted in a huge variety of autochthonous livestock breeds that are well-adapted to their production environments and provide unique products of an unbeatable quality and added-value for the society. Unfortunately, many of these breeds are in danger of extinction and their genetics are being diluted due to cross-breeding.

Therefore, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) has promoted a number of actions within the National Program for Conservation, Improvement and Promotion of Livestock breeds such as the creation of the 100% Autochthonous breed label. The label is officially regulated through a Royal Decree published in 2013 to guarantee consumers that labeled products originate exclusively from pure-bred registered animals from autochthonous breeds listed in the National Catalogue. With this the Ministry aims to encourage the raising of autochthonous breeds and to increase their profitability for breeders.

This label has a corporative manual describing basic conditions and limits and it has been registered in the national office for Patents and Marks to protect against any misleading use. The breeder societies can get the authorization for its use after voluntarily presenting to the Ministry the terms of conditions document to guarantee the traceability of their breed-related products and the system for control of the business operators.

There is a generic label for all the species for common use and specific labels with the species and the name of each breed underneath for the respective products.

The label is compatible with other quality schemes and is used for all types of products: Meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather and derivatives.

The label has been welcomed and so far, 56 societies have adopted the 100% autochthonous breed label, representing  about 33% of the autochthonous breeds in Spain with more than 3,000 business operators and this number is still growing.

Adding value by raissing awareness in the society and promotion activities

Undoubtedly, the promotion of Spain’s breeds’ sustainability and the realization/support of dissemination activities is always very positive. Among the best ways to conserve breeds is to stimulate the demand and the interest of society and consumers in their specific products by raising awareness about the role that local breeds play for the country and about the unique characteristics of their products. The history of the breed is promoted by using the motto: “Behind each product 100% autochthonous there is a story 100% ours”.

It is key to make society aware of the values and difficult situation of these breeds raised under extensive conditions, and of the enormous efforts made by breeders to offer such high quality products to consumers.

Therefore, the Government together with the sector started a promotion and communication campaign for animal breeds.  The campaign integrated all breed societies and other entities with synergies with the food industry, niche markets, gastronomy and tourism to establish a target audience. This campaign then promoted the breeds and their products through the media, including social networks, by sharing video recipes in gastronomy blogs, holding a food contest based on innovative products 100% autochthonous, showing a photo exhibition throughout all the country and education games at schools.

All the breeds can benefit from these actions because of the joint effort, the multiplier effect and the power of the stronger breeds and societies that can pull forward the smallest ones.

More info about this label (brochures, promotion activities, videos, recipes, protocols, terms, reports, presentations, games, etc) in the National System for Breed Information (ARCA) is available on the Ministry’s official website.

Authors: Montserrat Castellanos and MAPA Zootechnical Area team

Link: https://www.mapa.gob.es/es/ganaderia/temas/zootecnia/razas-ganaderas/arca/raza-autoctona.aspx

Sources and photo credit: ARCA and MAPA Register for the National Program for conservation, improvement and promotion of breeds