Farmers, stockbreeders and fishermen highlight the Balearic Islands at Fitur

Jan 19, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

Councillor De la Concha, representatives of ASAJA, the Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds and Agri-Food Cooperatives take part in a round table discussion at the fair

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Farmers, livestock farmers and fishermen at FITUR highlight the potential of the Balearic Islands’ pioneering tourism law, which requires establishments to offer a minimum of fresh local produce

Representatives of the primary sector of the Balearic Islands staged on Wednesday at the opening day of the International Tourism Fair in Madrid (FITUR) their commitment to the Balearic tourism law, approved last year and which ensures that a minimum of 3% of fresh agricultural, livestock and fisheries products are of Balearic origin in tourist establishments in the Islands, a percentage that will become 4% in establishments of 4 or 5 stars and 5% in the case of agritourism.

Representatives of ASAJA, the Balearic Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds and Agri-food Cooperatives of the Balearic Islands took part in a round table on Wednesday at the Islands’ stand at the tourism fair and emphasised the fundamental role that the primary sector plays in our tourism sector, which is reinforced by the new tourism regulations. Under the title “Balearic Islands: Boosting the primary sector and local products”, during the 30 minutes of the meeting, the participants discussed the importance of local products, the 0-kilometre product and how the new tourism law has facilitated the transformation, which the sector is taking advantage of and is carrying out. During the meeting, the participation of the Balearic Islands in an Enogastrotourism programme was announced, which will provide the destination with 3.3 million euros and will be used for the creation and development of food and wine tourism products and experiences that link agri-food and fishing production with tourism.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mae de la Concha, stressed the importance of the primary sector in the Balearic Islands and declared that “it is only fair that the primary sector should be rewarded and not be excluded from the benefits of tourism”. “Tourism owes a great debt to the primary sector, both for the landscape and for the local produce,” he said, and announced that in the next legislature, “we will be working on a law on the right to food that will work in a comprehensive way on the presence of local produce in hospitals, schools and residences, among others”.

The participants agreed on the need to achieve an ever-increasing consumption of local produce, which is also more ecological, with a twofold objective: to help combat climate change and to make it easier for people to make a decent living from this work. According to the president of Cooperativas Agroalimentarias, Jerònima Bonafé, “the Balearic Islands have products of the highest quality, which tourists who visit us should be able to enjoy”. The manager of ASAJA, Joan Simonet, stressed that “the opportunity that the visit of millions of tourists gives us must benefit the primary sector, not only with the purchase of products, but also with complementary activities, and the tourism law is a very important step”. The president of the Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds, Domingo Bonnín, stressed that “fishing is sustainability and also food” and highlighted the role of fishermen and the gastronomy of the Balearic Islands.

The figures

According to data from the Institute of Agri-Food Quality (IQUA), of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the quality brands (DO and PGI) marketed 11,454 tonnes of food in 2021, which accounted for 83 million euros in turnover, 34% more than in 2020.

For example, DO and PGI wines sold 36% more than in 2020, and DO Mahón-Menorca cheese sold 25% more than in 2020, exceeding the figures for 2019. Sales of Mallorcan and Eivissa olive oil and black pork sobrasada have also grown, increasing by 7.6% in 2021 compared to 2020 and 9.2% compared to 2019, before the pandemic. Lobster is another example, with an 18% increase in sales revenue.

The increase in sales in 2021 is partly due to tourism, as products with quality brands are in great demand by tourists visiting the Balearic Islands, and are also exported afterwards.