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Algarve avocado is registered as a trademark

Published on June 17, 2021

Yesterday, it was announced that the Algarve avocado will be registered as a trademark,  following a registration request made by an Algarve business association. This will allow monitoring of the marketing of Avocados.

Effective from early July, the brand implies compliance with a set of rules by producers, who will incur penalties if they do not meet the specifications set, said Ana Soeiro, executive director of the Qualifica/oriGIn Portugal association.

The brand, which will be managed by the Algfuturo association, “has already been requested, has already been published, and in principle, will be made definitive on July 7th 2021”, explained a spokesperson at the brand presentation session which took place today in Faro.

“To register a trademark there has to be a set of rules. We have to have a specification book that makes specific what can be called avocado in the Algarve”, he said, adding that the crop must “be grown in good conditions, with sustainability”.

The requirement for these conditions of sustainability in the cultivation of avocados in the Algarve implies “not wasting water, not wasting energy, not degrading the soil”, with control mechanisms to verify that the rules are complied with. “The specification is a sum of all these requirements”.

According to Ana Soeiro, there are “possibilities for non-compliances and so there are penalties that people may incur in case of non-compliance, ,therefore there must be control mechanisms to guarantee quality products.”

“You can’t be selling a product that says Serra da Estrela cheese on the label and then it isn’t”, she explained, stressing that “whoever doesn’t comply can’t use the brand”, thus ensuring that there is no risk of misrepresent the brand and harm the consumer.

Despite this first step, “the conditions are not yet met” for the eventual creation of a Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) or trademark, “which also has rules to comply with and penalties”, she concluded.

During the presentation session, the regional director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pedro Valadas Monteiro, said that in the Algarve there are 1,830 hectares of avocado, in a total of 22,000 hectares of irrigated crops in the region, which means that it is “quite far from a monoculture”.

According to the study presented on the cultivation of avocado in Portugal, the Algarve is home to most of the avocado trees existing in the country (which occupy a total of 2,016 hectares), representing 1.8% of the agricultural area in the region. In the last 10 years, until 2019, avocado farms “grew very significantly” in the region, to six times more than there were previously, with 65% of the farms located in Silves, Tavira and Loulé.

According to the study, the carob tree continues to represent the largest planted area in the region (13,584 hectares), followed by citrus (13,269), olive groves (9,409), other dried fruits (7,524) and almond trees (5,004).

The cultivation of vines, with 1,513 hectares, is the only one among the group of the main permanent crops in the Algarve that represent less area than the avocado tree.

With regard to irrigation needs, based on the region’s water deficit, the avocado tree is equated with olive, citrus or pomegranate crops, while walnut, almond and persimmon tree watering is superior to avocados.

The increase in avocado plantations in the Algarve has been challenged by environmental associations, with an administrative offense against a promoter in Lagos having been filed at the end of May, following the Declaration of Unfavorable Environmental Impact issued by the competent authorities.

Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/