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Angra do Heroísmo ,  November 05, 2018

Regional Government considers investment in innovation and promotion as fundamental for promotion of dairy products

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated that it is fundamental to invest in quality, innovation and promotion of Azorean dairy products, such as cheese, to conquer new markets and establish them as products of excellence.
"In the Azores, we have the best cheeses produced in the country, which, for their excellence, flavour, tradition and quality, deserve to be better paid. In order to achieve this goal, the industry must continue to focus on innovation, promotion and new markets," stressed João Ponte. He spoke on the sidelines of a visit to Vaquinha dairy plant in the village of Cinco Ribeiras, Terceira Island.
In the first two days of the Regional Government's visit to this island, João Ponte stressed that everything has been done to ensure the success of dairy products and the sustainability of agriculture in the archipelago, which natural unique conditions for milk production.
João Ponte recalled that Azorean cheeses won four first places and were distinguished with various honourable mentions in the 22 categories of the Portugal Cheese Competition 2018, an event organised by ANIL-National Federation of Dairy Industries that took place in Lisbon in late October.
The good results stem from the efforts and experience of Azorean milk producers, the investments made in the modernisation of farms, agro-industries and in animal welfare, genetic improvement and the exceptional natural conditions of our Region.
"These results should be also regarded as an incentive for the dairy industry to pursue an investment path towards modernisation, quality and innovation, to increasingly meet consumer preferences, to find new markets, and to pay more and better so that the income may be better distributed throughout the value chain," said the Regional Secretary. He added that the six applications submitted by agro-food industries from Terceira that were approved under PRORURAL+ represent a public investment of 6.8 million Euros and a public expenditure of 3.9 million Euros.
João Ponte pointed out that Portugal annually imports more than 50 thousand tonnes of cheese out of the 130 thousand tonnes consumed in the country, demonstrating "the good opportunities and the existing business opportunities for Azorean cheeses.
"We have the obligation to fill this space and the duty to know how to seize opportunities, innovate, conquer consumers' loyalty and also count on the indispensable patriotism of the commercial segment of cheese production," João Ponte said, adding that the Azores produce almost 50% of national cheese.
At the international level, João Ponte considered that the recent trade agreement between the European Union and Canada has brought new perspectives for the export and internationalisation of regional products, namely dairy products.
Regarding the Vaquinha dairy plant, opened in 1998, João Ponte pointed out its good example as a family business that knew how to develop and modernise itself through Community funds, having conquered its space as, besides the internal market, it also exports to Mainland Portugal.
Currently, this dairy plant from Terceira Island produces five types of Vaquinha cheese. In 2010, it launched a range of yogurts, already with a dozen flavours.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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