Pere Ferré, president of the Spanish SAB-Almendrave group, and Albino Bento, president of the Portuguese Centro Nacional de Competências dos Frutos Secos, have presented a new initiative aimed at boosting the almond sector in and outside of the Iberian Peninsula.
Portugal and Spain want to strengthen their position as the most environmentally friendly option within the Iberian peninsula, as well as on the German and French markets primarily.
The almond of Spain and Portugal is a true icon of the Iberian peninsula and an agri-food product that characterizes both countries. It is the European almond, the nut that has brought Portugal and Spain together to promote the exceptional quality and sustainability of their production in a three-year campaign that will mark the future of the sector.
Co-financed by the European Union, the initiative is supported by the professional associations of both countries: SAB-Almendrave and Centro Nacional de Competências dos Frutos Secos (CNCFS). The campaign is mainly aimed at four European markets: Germany (a major center of almond chocolate manufacturing), France (the largest consumer of almond flour), as well as Portugal and Spain. Together, these two countries are the world's second largest producers and exporters of almonds. They also have some of the highest consumption figures per capita in the world.
The presidents of both associations, Pere Ferré (SAB-Almendrave) and Albino Bento (CNCFS), presented their guidelines at an event held in Albacete, within the framework of the VIII Almond and Hazelnut Meeting, which brought together the press of the four countries via video conference.
Both countries have highlighted the characteristics that make this product a gastronomic and ecological gem. “European almonds are the perfect example of low impact agriculture,” according to Pere Ferré. “They use water responsibly, with 85% of dryland farms. Those that are irrigated are increasingly opting for on-demand irrigation and the approximately 800,000 hectares where the trees are planted capture an enormous amount of carbon, which contributes to the fight against climate change while also acting as a natural firebreak and a tool to combat soil erosion.”
The campaign spot was shown for the first time at this event, and the label identifying it as an “Iberian product” was also presented, which will serve to communicate the product’s main values. Among these values is the commitment to fight against the abandonment of rural areas, as the cultivation of almonds helps to retain the population in these areas, distributing wealth more evenly throughout the territory.
According to Albino Bento, president of CNCFS, “this almond has the potential to become an icon of the region. We have therefore decided to collaborate on both sides of the border, joining forces to raise awareness among consumers and professionals in the sector, about the quality and sustainability that characterize these particular almonds.”
This union between two key sectors of Spain and Portugal will certainly strengthen the cultural, economic and gastronomic ties that already exist between the two countries.
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