Articles in Category: Portugal

PT | New issue of the journal "O Segredo da Terra" dedicated to communication in the organic farming sector

Publications & Resources
New issue of the journal

The Portuguese journal "O Segredo da Terra", specialized in organic farming, as just issued a new number (35) dedicated to communication in the organic sector. This issue includes the papers presented in the Seminar recently held at the University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, Portugal, jointly organized by the Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies, Edibio and the Portuguese Horticulture Association. The first article presents the major conclusions of this Seminar, written by Ana Alexandra Costa, Isabel Mourão and Artur Cristóvão.  



The University of Léon, Department of Economics and Statistics, together with the University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, Center for Agro-Environmental and Biological Research, organized this research and exchange Seminar, that also involved researchers from other institutions and centers. The major topic was innovation in the localized agrifood systems. ERG SYAL was represented by Javier Sanz Canada, Alberto Baptista and Artur Cristóvão, who served as keynote speakers in the public session of the Seminar on the topic: “Los sistemas agroalimentarios locales en la Península Ibérica”.


PT | 3th National Meeting PROVE

3th National Meeting PROVE
 ARCHIVE: 07.12.12  

UTAD researchers presented the results of an evaluation study of the PROVE project that , supported by the Portuguese Leader network, is a direct/proximity selling experience, through baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables, having as objectives: to support producers in the promotion and marketing of their products; to ensure the freshness and quality of the products; and to strengthen the ties between rural and urban communities. 

PT | Agri-food Traditional Products: From Certification to the Market - Portuguese recent evolution

Publications & Resources

(EC) Regulations 2081/92 and 2082/92, replaced by Council Regulations (EC) 510/2006 and 509/2006, respectively, are an important contribution to establishing the foundations of European Policy on agri-food quality. They include the protection of agricultural as well as food product designations at European level, particularly those which bear a close relationship with their production area and which, due to their geographical origin and/or specific modes of production, present distinctive characteristics. Under those regulations a thousand designations are estimated to be protected within the European Union, of which about eight hundred are regularly present in the markets, accounting for a 14.2 billion Euro turnover. Portugal alone has 120 protected designations (15% of all European designations) which originate a seventy million Euro turnover (0.5% of the turnover generated by the PDO/PGI at European level). Fifteen years after the first PDO/PGI products have appeared on the national market, we believe it is important to look into the state of the art of these products in Portugal. The main goal of the present paper is to provide an overall view on the main trends of the PDO/PGI products sector at national level. The methodology used consists of a descriptive analysis of a set of specific indicators regarding three main variables: Production; Prices and Commercialization. Globally, this type of products is not very commercially widespread, despite the positive sustained evolution registered by some. As a rule these products have a poor productive dimension, which in a way may explain the lack of internationalization of the sector.

Key-words: Portugal, Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication, policies, market, consumers, perceptions and preferences.

PT | Methods and Procedures for Building Sustainable Farming Systems

Publications & Resources
Methods and Procedures for Building Sustainable Farming Systems

This urgent publication surveys the latest research and methodologies combining efficiency in agricultural food production with sustainability in the same systems. Growing pressures on food production seem contrapuntal to the ever-stronger imperatives of sustainability. How can agriculture balance successes in both productivity and ecology? Sustainability is a dynamic concept, seeking to achieve a balance—in space and time—of environmental, economic and social factors. Thus, farming systems are faced with contradictory demands for success: economic performance and social equity have to be maximized, while the environment and its natural resources need to be protected.


Showing how the method of sustainability assessment plays a key role in choosing the best agricultural productive mode, this book guides the reader through the process of selecting, from among the various approaches for building farming systems, the method of decision-making that will result in the most appropriate outcome, given the context. Case studies hail from polities as diverse as Portugal and Canada, Argentina and Lebanon. The work thus offers a valuable critical survey of the assessment methods that account for sustainability and economics, and which have developed considerably in the last two decades. The heterogeneous approaches covered here make this volume appropriate for consultation in a wide variety of social, political and geographical contexts.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Agriculture environment Decision support methods Sustainability assessment methodologies Sustainability farming assessment Sustainable farming systems

Related subjects » Agricultural Economics Agriculture Operations Research & Decision Theory Sustainable Development

PT | Seminário "Comunicar em Bio: informação, formação e extensão na agricultura biológica"

 ARCHIVE: 23.11.12  


Comunicar em Bio

           Práticas de informação, formação e extensão na agricultura biológica

Auditório da Biblioteca da UTAD, 23 de Novembro de 2012


Organização: CETRAD e Edibio, com o apoio da APH

Ideia geral: A comunicação é uma dimensão fundamental na promoção da agricultura biológica, frequentemente subestimada. Entendida de forma ampla, incorpora um conjunto diversificado de práticas de informação, formação e extensão, envolvendo públicos muito diversos, desde os produtores e outros operadores, aos técnicos, estudantes de agricultura, consumidores de produtos bio, comunicadores profissionais e sociedade em geral. Assim, no Seminário procurar-se-ão analisar experiências e práticas de comunicação, com destaque para a extensão realizada por serviços públicos e privados, a animação pedagógica e técnica de hortas escolares e comunitárias, a divulgação junto de consumidores (em feiras e lojas, na internet), o trabalho com a restauração, e as iniciativas editoriais de carácter técnico.

Objectivos: Trocar experiência, analisar práticas, sensibilizar operadores e organizações para a importância da comunicação no quadro do desenvolvimento e promoção da agricultura biológica.

Públicos: Operadores de agricultura biológica, técnicos de serviços públicos e de associações, educadores, formadores, investigadores e estudantes do ensino superior.

Local: Auditório da Biblioteca Central da UTAD.

Inscrição: A participação no Seminário é gratuita.

Contactos: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ou This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




The debate on the valorisation of traditional and artisanal food has been receiving increased attention recently. While there is growing consumer demand for natural, artisanal and unique foods, simultaneously, there is a significant discussion about the criteria used to assess these products which, given their singularity, can compromise their features if they are evaluated according to the same criteria which regulate industrial food production This research was conducted taking into account this context. For the development of this study, Serrano Cheese was taken as the object of research; this is a handmade traditional cheese made from raw milk and produced in Campos de Cima da Serra, a region located in the northeast area of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil. Empirical data were obtained from ethnographic research which prioritised information especially from producers and consumers but also from technicians and cheese sellers. The data analysis provided elements to discuss the relationship between producers’ lifestyles and cheese production; and to capture the practices, meanings and logics associated with the production and with the equipment, the tools and the raw milk employed in the production of the cheese. Regarding the consumption of Serrano Cheese, the study discusses the risk perceptions of local inhabitants in relation to the product, and the channels through which the cheeses are sold, usually based on the reputation of the producers and on close relationships. Changes in progress in the region, to varying degrees, have been resulting in alterations in the production methods, which can even affect the maintenance of those characteristics which make Serrano Cheese unique. By evidencing the significance of the knowledge legitimation employed in traditional food production, this study aims to contribute towards the enhancement and protection of this sort of production, which in turn is associated not only with the income maintenance but also with the safeguarding of the production methods and the lifestyle of producer families.

Keywords: Traditional knowledge. Raw milk cheese. Risk perceptions. Intangible cultural heritage. Peasantry. Consumption.

PT | NEW BOOK: Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic

Publications & Resources
NEW BOOK: Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic


Farming Systems Research has three core characteristics: it builds on systems thinking, it depends on the close collaboration between social and biophysical sciences, and it relies on participation to build co-learning processes. Farming Systems Research posits that to contribute towards sustainable rural development, both interdisciplinary collaborations and local actor engagement are needed. Together, they allow for changes in understanding and changes in practices.
This book gives an overview of the insights generated in 20 years of Farming Systems Research. It retraces the emergence and development of Farming Systems Research in Europe, summarises the state-of-the-art for key areas, and provides an outlook on new explorations, especially those tackling the dynamic nature of farming systems and their interaction with the natural environment and the context of action.
We hope this book will serve as an inspiration for all those who seek an alternative approach to research in farming and rural development. One that builds on the reflexivity of researchers, one that takes the role of human subjectivities and perceptions seriously, one that gives voice to farmers, one that emphasises participation and co-learning processes, one that focuses on interactions between the elements, one that allows to capture interdependencies and their dynamics.
There is no doubt that Farming Systems Research has much to offer to answer the challenges faced by rural areas in the current turbulent and uncertain times. The book is thus aimed at practitioners, at graduate students and at researchers who seek new inspiration outside the mainstream, who take into account the ethical dimension of their work, and who seek encouragement to deepen their reflexivity about the meaning of professional practice and about their approach to research.


PT | EVALUATION OF PROVE - Avaliação do Projecto de Cooperação Interterritorial — PROVE — PROMOVER E VENDER

Research & Development
EVALUATION OF PROVE - Avaliação do Projecto de Cooperação Interterritorial — PROVE — PROMOVER E VENDER

A team of researchers, including member of UTAD and Technical University of Lisbon, have just concluded a study of the Project PROVE- Promote and Sell, supported by the Portuguese Leader network, a direct/proximity selling experience, through baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables, having as objectives: to support producers in the promotion and marketing of their products; to ensure the freshness and quality of the products; and to strengthen the ties between rural and urban communities. The study analyzed the contribution of this project to sustainable development and maintenance of local territorial dynamics and researched the perspectives of producers, consumers and local development actors in different regions of Portugal. The results show that farmers increased the area and diversified the production, and improved marketing conditions and household income.