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Horta ,  April 02, 2009

Cycle of

Cycle of base investments in the milk industry comes to an end with the opening of two factories on São Jorge

The Regional Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry stated today, at the Azorean Parliament, that the “cycle of base investments in the milk industry” of the Azores will be concluded soon, with the inauguration of the cheese factories Finisterra and Uniqueijo, on São Jorge Island.
With these two new units, which mobilised important resources, “we fulfilled the most modern and demanding hygienic and sanitary criteria, so we are able to put on the market good-quality dairy products,” stated Noé Nodrigues when he delivered a speech in the debates on the Medium-term Guidelines and the Budget and Plan for 2009.
As a consequence of these investments, added the Secretary, “it was assured the installation of a processing capacity that will absorb, with a safety margin, all the production of every Island and its future growth.”
According to the Secretary, in the last ten years, we witnessed in the Azores to an “important evolution in the value chain of milk,” since it has kept stable since the production of powdered milk despite having increased in 40% the quantity of milk delivered to the industry.
Since then, there was slight increase in the production of butter, significant risings in the production of cheese (85%) and yogurts (129%), while the production of UHT milk increased from 17 to 83 million litres, said Noé Rodrigues.
As for the meat sub-sector, the Regional Secretary considered that public investment in slaughterhouses of the Archipelago “was essential to the new paradigm in which we live today.”
The Secretary also mentioned that the most recent evolution concerning the production and meat marketing demonstrates that the Azores have become “more effective and competent in this value chain, reverting the traditional process of sale in vivo, thus, stimulating creation of wealth and jobs, and ensuring the presence of Azorean meat closer to consumers.”
The Regional Secretary pointed out the growth of forest areas, “despite the increase in agro- forestry production which is regarded as their competitors,” and said that, in the areas agriculture diversification, indicators demonstrate a “favourable evolution.”
“For example, in the areas of fruit-growing and floriculture, the production has grown in both cases, but mainly floriculture, this area already represents an asset in our exports,” said the Secretary.
For Noé Rodrigues, this situation demonstrates the effort made in the still small and alternative agricultural activities “which begin to bear its fruits”, mainly when their agents associate to them new organic models that “represent a good contribution to organise, concentrate and prepare such products for the market, with advantages in the critical dimension, the creation of brands and the logistics of distribution and marketing.”
From the action transverse to the sector to be developed in the next years, the Regional Secretary mentioned the development of agrarian vocational training, which between 2006 and 2008 integrated 1,472 farmers and 900 technicians, and the improvement in animal and plant health and the quality of productions, which will be enhanced through the new Regional Veterinary and Oenology Laboratories, and the renewal and improvement of Plant Health Laboratory.
The reinforcement of the actions of traceability of agro-food products, ensuring food quality, the protection of public health and its prestige, and the cooperation with knowledge centres of agricultural research and universities, expanding the ambit of an intervention guaranteed by tens of protocols which have come into force, were other initiatives announced by Noé Rodrigues.
With the implementation of the actions envisaged in the documents presented by the Government, “there will be the necessary conditions for the creation of a new impetus regarding a good contribution of agro-forestry sector for the development of the Azores,” concluded the Secretary.

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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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Related Information:

Intervenção do secretário da Agricultura e Florestas nos debates parlamentares do Orçamento e Plano para 2009

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