Spanish growers have been criticised for not doing enough to improve quality, despite being leading producers with a dominant position on UK supermarket shelves.

Tomas Garcia Azcarate, head of the olive oil and horticultural products unit at the European Commission,

has repeated his view that he believes that there are still too many small producer organisations.

"When it comes to production, Spain is definitely a market leader, but it therefore has a great deal of responsibility to be exemplary as far as market organisation is concerned.

"It doesn't make sense to have so many producer organisations."

Claiming that attitudes were still conservative, he cited the example of resistance to calls from export markets for growers to use Brix levels in order to ensure the acceptable maturity of peaches. He added: "We have to give consumers edible products, not ­bowling balls."