Continente Supermarket has set an innovative and far-sighted goal – they want to be self-sufficient in Regional vegetables by 2025. A goal that José Carlos Salavado, General Director of Continente – Madeira is convinced can be achieved, especially through initiatives such as the Academy of the Continente Producers Club in the Region, which will serve to empower Madeiran farmers to produce quality foodstuffs.
Speaking to journalists at the inaugural session of the 1st Academy of the Mainland Producers Club in Madeira that took place today at the Agricultural School of Madeira, in São Vicente, José Carlos Salavado, said at this moment in time, the supermarket chain still has to import 50% of all its vegetables.
He stated that despite this, there are varieties in which they are already self-sufficient, giving as examples lettuce, cabbage, anona, and banana. “But it all depends on the climate,” he noted, stressing the importance of the supermarket having at its disposal Madeiran farmers, mainly because “regional products are regarded as quality products.” Moreover, he argued, it is far more efficient and cost-effective for vegetables to be grown on the island, as prices will not need to reflect exorbitant containerisation and transport costs.
“The Producers Club is a platform that SONAE developed 25 years ago, and whose main objective is to promote national agriculture and create healthy competitiveness within the fresh food producer sector. The club is growing and proves that farmers are interested in learning and adapting to a new sustainable platform.”
In this first year of academia, the basic principles of agricultural management will be given, followed by more practical sessions related to good agricultural practices aligned with the sustainability criteria.
Those interested in joining the club can obtain more information through Continente stores or on the Continente Producers Club website (https://clubedeprodutores.continente.pt/pt/).
There are currently 17 farmers registered with the club.
info at madeira-weekly.com