A. Ortega: “The aim is to make everyone aware of the great advantages of using them well for the primary sector, for our territory and society, but also for them”.
This Wednesday, the Government’s Directorate-General for Food Sovereignty Policies held the first training session on ‘The use of geographical names in the marketing of food’, aimed at large retail outlets operating on the islands. The first large supermarket chain to offer to receive this training was LIDL.
According to general manager Aram Ortega, the aim of this training “is to inform all the large supermarkets operating in the Balearic Islands of the great advantages of using these geographical names correctly, both for our primary and agri-food sector, for our territory and society, but also for them”, as “it also gives them more tools to work better with suppliers”, he added.
For his part, the head of LIDL in the Balearic Islands, Bartomeu Picornell, valued the training very positively because “it brings great added value to our staff, to bring local produce even closer to our customers”. Picornell wanted to make it clear that his “firm commitment to local produce and local producers on the Islands is vital for reasons of environmental, social and economic sustainability”.
The training, which was given by Jerònima Trobat, a technician from the Balearic Islands Agri-Food Quality Service (IQUA) and the head of the service himself, Miquel Àngel Frau, provided learning tools for recognising products with Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI), their identification systems and the obligations involved in marketing them, as well as legal information on the use of geographical or island names on products.
In her speech, Frau analysed data taken from surveys and stated that “consumers and those who ask for local products, and who are prepared to pay more for them, are over 46 years of age, live in the ‘part forana’ and live alone”. Therefore, he warned of a possible “progressive ageing” of this clientele “if there is a lack of knowledge, especially among young people, of local produce”, he said.
In this sense, he pointed out that it is essential that the marketing and advertising of large shopping centres, as well as public institutions, should focus more on local produce and quality brands from the Balearic Islands, given that, as the head of the IQUA added, “consumers have greater confidence in local products and are willing to pay more; the problem is that today the market is still very confusing”.
The training course also analysed different court rulings on products with geographical names, both in the Balearic Islands and in the rest of Spain and Europe; the spirit of PDOs and PGIs was explained, and the keys to avoiding food fraud and making it easier for customers to differentiate quality brands, so that they are not so vulnerable to imitations or possible confusion when buying, were discussed.