The North African country has gone from being a strong competitor to an essential strategic outlet for Spanish agri-food companies

Morocco: the new attractive destination for Spanish agri-food companies

Puerto de Tánger Med, Marruecos - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Port of Tangier Med, Morocco - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

The challenges facing Spanish agri-food companies can be summed up in the lack of generational replacement, the scarcity of water and land, the competition for land between photovoltaic plants and investment funds on the one hand and crops on the other, as well as the sharp rise in wage costs and social security contributions, which has pushed these investors to open offices in Morocco. 

  1. The main incentive factors  
  2. Types of companies and their location on the Moroccan map   
  3. Others interested in the Moroccan offer 

The Maghreb country represents a practical solution for these companies, allowing them to regain their competitiveness and the power to export to Europe, this time from Africa. For this reason, the number of companies in the sector has grown by 35%, with a total of 50 companies already established in Morocco, 16% of the more than 300 registered. 

The main incentive factors  

  • Morocco: the closest, most profitable, preferential and promising destination for Spanish agri-food companies. 
  • A cheap labour force. 
  • A more favourable regulatory framework than that offered by the European Union.  
  • A low cost of production. 
  • More affordable land that is very cheap to rent.  
  • A mild climate, good communications and trade agreements with many countries in the world. 
  • Morocco's preferential agreement with the European Union, which liberalises almost all products (except apples and sweet almonds). 
  • The advantageous regulatory framework for the transfer of part of the production to Morocco. 
  • Optional compliance with the law regulating phytosanitary products in the European Union and other regulations within the framework of the Green Pact.  
  • The farm-to-table strategy is not an obstacle in Morocco.  
  • A consumer market with a population of more than 36 million inhabitants and growing economic development. 
  • The possibility of exporting to Europe at the lowest costs. 

Types of companies and their location on the Moroccan map   

Most Spanish agri-food firms are concentrated in the Gharb area between Tangiers and Rabat, in the Sus Valley, and in the Moroccan Ejido in Agadir. This area, dedicated to the agricultural industry, is home to 30 of the 300 companies based in Morocco.    

Spanish companies in Morocco work in important sectors such as the cultivation and processing of fruit and vegetables, oil, chocolate, sugar, beverages, bulbs and seeds, dairy products, meat and seafood. They are also attracted to canning, transport, storage, distribution and export, agricultural machinery and risk.  

agricultura-marruecos-economia (1)
Agriculture in Morocco - PHOTO/FILE

Morocco has flourished as an agri-food power that has been able to attract subsidiaries of large companies such as Agrícola Perichan, Agroatlas, Iberfruta, Abengoa, Planasa, Acesur, Garavilla, Agromillora, Semillas Fitó, Florimond, Nutricontrol, Ebro Foods, Aliminter S.A., Internaco, Frigodar, Primor Fruit, Fulgencio Spa, among others.  

It should be remembered that, in order to avoid any threat of relocation in the face of the growth of the subsidiary in Morocco, the companies concerned retain the parent company, albeit in a smaller size, in the country of origin, Spain. 

Market in Morocco - PHOTO/FILE

Others interested in the Moroccan offer 

Spain is not the only country that sees Morocco as a great opportunity to invest in the agri-food sector; Portugal also sees it as an ideal destination for its companies, and it is not the last country to do so.  

Several Portuguese, Italian and even Chinese companies have set their sights on the African country, moving part of their agri-food business there to take advantage of the benefits offered by Morocco and its trade agreements with the European Union. 

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