Home | Portugal | Interviews (page 11)


ASAE – Friend or foe of small producers and traders?

ASAE, the Economic and Food Safety Authority, was set up in 2005 under the Ministry of the Economy and in the nine years since it was set up, until 2014, it had amassed some 175 million euros from inspections, criminal proceedings, seizures and other offences. Since it started, ASAE, the authority specialising in food safety and economic surveillance, has triggered opposing sentiments. Viewed by some as the enemy of traditional businesses and what is known as “home-made” produce, it is recognised by many as a guarantor of food quality, consumer protection and fair competition between economic operators. Its operational policy …

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The best solution

Human evolution occurs through the comprehension of the phenomena that surround us. Back in the mists of time, the forces of nature were explained as divine acts that punished or rewarded us for our actions. But through the repeated observation of the same phenomena, humans understood that nature functions cyclically and could be used for their benefit. Initially, this was done in an empirical manner, but with the development of tools and technologies, humans came to control and derive the maximum yield from natural resources and renewable energies. One example of this exploitation and development is the increasingly effective use …

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Travel worldwide by train

Mr. Mark Smith has made an adventurous hobby into his profession. From Marylebone Station to Buckinghamshire to the north-west of London, where he lives with his wife Nicolette, their two children Nathaniel (8) and Katelijn (6), and their cat Phoenix, his Chiltern Railways train takes up to 90 minutes to cover 60 km. Mark himself once worked for British Rail, today he gives all travellers information about all railway routes worldwide. You want to travel by train from Portugal to England, or from Lisbon to Moscow, Vladivostok, Beijing or Calcutta? No problem. Mark Smith tells all adventurers via which routes …

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Ruinas Algarve

No Man’s Land?

Desertification and depopulation have been emphasized through all of the country´s interior during the last decades: a scenario that has been getting worse with the times. ECO123 spoke with Alberto Espírito Santo Fernandes. He is a member of the National Fight against Desertification Comission (CNCD) since 2004 and is responsible for the Regional Center against Desertification in the Algarve. The 61 year-old engineer relies on a broad experience in this area after, around 40 years ago, more precisely in 1976, having been the first technician placed in what was the first Natural Reservation created in continental Portugal – the Reserva …

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Interview with Roberto Merrill

ECO123: Are you working in Braga at present? Roberto Merrill: Yes, I came back to Portugal as a post-doctoral researcher funded by the FCT (Foundation of Science and Technology). I did research in political philosophy and two weeks ago I went to live in Braga, because I managed to arrange a miracle there: a post as a lecturer, so I’m feeling very fulfilled. How did you get involved with the unconditional basic income movement? My doctoral thesis in political philosophy was about the neutrality of the state. The topic of what it is that makes the authority of the state …

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What is Proforbiomed?

ECO123: What is Proforbiomed? Architect Inês Duarte (CICAE): Proforbiomed was a project financed by the MED programme lasting from 2010 to 2014, so it was concluded at the end of last year and the aim of this project was to promote the use of residual forest biomass in the Mediterranean area; it covered the whole of the Mediterranean basin, which has a very similar forestry context, and where everyone faces a serious problem of forest fires, even more now owing to global warming, which has been getting worse. This project aimed to promote the use of this biomass so as …

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My Expression of Hope

There are several years’ work in this film. She seems to be exhausted. And so we have to wait for a few weeks for the interview. Our very personal interview is preceded by several lively exchanges of ideas by mobile phone. Why do you want to film me, BJ Boulter asks in one of her messages? She is not persuaded by the answer, that certain witnesses of contemporary history have earned their place in our ancestral gallery, but she agrees nonetheless. Finally, we meet La Grande Dame do Filme at her Quinta de Ochalá in Estombar near Lagoa. A table …

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Inland, a Future With Life

Pathways to restoring a non-tourism dependent Algarve. The small village of Ameixial1, located in the council of Loulé, hosted the presentation ceremony for the final projects resulting from last autumn’s Permaculture Design Course. This presentation counted on the participation of its fifteen students and the attendance of many of the local citizens who, with a certain degree of reluctance but a lot of curiosity, began getting into, observing and questioning the students about the proposals and solutions that they had “designed”. These appeared on posters dotted around the venue and serving to facilitate the explanation and understanding of terms as …

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Farm with woofers


ECO123 spoke to Rodrigo Rocha, the coordinator of WWOOF Portugal, who lives in Estremoz and Sagres. Rocha is 39 years old. Originally from Santos in Brazil, he came to Portugal when he was 17, studied geology in Coimbra, and completed his doctorate at the University of Évora. He is the father of twins, and he loves the sea. ECO123: How did you become a founder member of WWOOF in Portugal, and how did WWOOF start in Portugal? Rodrigo Rocha: The first time I heard anything about WWOOF was when a friend of mine was living and working on a farm …

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Food: Date expired?

ECO123: You were the first owner of an Intermarché supermarket in Portugal, in Guarda and you are currently the owner of the Intermarché stores in Monchique, Lagoa, Porches and Messines. What corporate social responsibility do you practice? Philippe Bourroux: That of managing to ensure each store balances its books with the primary objective of paying all members of staff. At this moment, we employ around 250 people with paying salaries highly difficult. However, socially, the role of a supermarket is to locally provide all of the products that people need to live. Such as, for example in places like Monchique, …

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