At first glance, it might seem like it was just a charm operation, involving oranges from the Algarve. But the action to celebrate the World Tourism Day that took place yesterday, 27 September, in Gago Coutinho Airport, in Faro, it was more than that: it was proof that «the two most representative economic activities in the Algarve», the agri-food and tourism sectors, can go hand in hand.
The Algarve Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries, in partnership with the Algarve Tourism Region and the support of the AlgarOrange producers' association, distributed certified Algarve oranges, with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), to travelers who had just landed in Faro.
And if some of the foreigners approached were not very receptive, others received the gift with a smile on their face and there were even those who not only accepted the gift promptly, but also made a point of showing that they knew that «the Algarve orange is very good».
According to Pedro Valadas Monteiro, regional director of Agriculture and Fisheries, the idea was to show those who visit us «one of the Algarve's business cards».
«Orange is one of the most famous productions in the region and is internationally recognized. We are using PGI orange in this campaign, because that is what guarantees the quality and differentiation of the product”, he said.
«We are proud to have the certified Algarve orange here in this initiative, which continues with the excellent quality that characterizes it: the balance between acidity and sweetness, very juicy. We are quite pleased”, he added.
José Oliveira, president of AlgarOrange, who also helped deliver oranges at the airport, considered that the initiative, during which around 200 kilos of oranges were distributed, “went well”.
«Our goal was to put orange and the Algarve PGI on the agenda. We wanted to convey the message that oranges are good and certified", he said.
Pedro Valadas Monteiro also considered that «it makes perfect sense for agriculture, agri-food production and tourism to join hands as the two most representative economic activities in the Algarve. I think that both sectors stand to gain if they work effectively together».
The regional director of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Algarve does not hide that “I would like to see more oranges in tourist units in the region.
“I think this is one of the steps we have to take to be a more balanced region, from the point of view of economic dynamics. We have to work on these supply issues with regional productions. I think everyone has something to win”, reinforced Pedro Valadas Monteiro.
«It is completely different for a tourist, in the morning, to have a juice made with fresh PGI orange from the Algarve at the table than to have one made with any other orange or even artificial», he concluded.