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Jaime Ferreira | Agrobio

Cartazes de alguns dos Mercados Agrobio
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There will be a new kind of agriculture in Portugal within ten years

Founded 31 years ago, the Portuguese Organic Agriculture Association (Agrobio) was a pioneer in the dissemination of organic farming in Portugal and its projects have sought to break down barriers at the national level. At present, it has 7,500 members, and is the second biggest Portuguese non-governmental organisation in the environmental area. Its activities are aimed at farmers and consumers who prioritise food quality, health, the environment, and the defence of agricultural practices that are healthy, socially responsible and fair. Agrobio’s president, Jaime Ferreira, unveiled some new aspects and some concerns in conversation with ECO123.

What is the situation in Portugal in terms of CO2 emissions?

This question applies not only to companies but also to individuals. We have to change our day-to-day attitudes. I would say that we feel fine where we are in organic agriculture because we know that our organic agriculture has much less impact on the environment, and on people’s lives. And it can be done, but the key is that people make responsible choices.

Despite the fact that we hear some not very positive murmurs about different kinds of matter contributing to the greenhouse effect and to climate change, I am very confident about the times we live in. We have a more favourable political climate than ever to be able to promote certain changes that affect our lives and the country’s economic activities. Today, there is a group of party-political forces that are clearly in favour of taking measures than can help us to reduce our ecological footprint so that companies and all of us can be more responsible.
Today, we notice that there is increasing interest in consuming organic produce and this will certainly also have consequences for the way people farm in the future.

What is the most urgent measure that needs to be taken at the national level?

There are several. One of the most important is everything to do with mobility, how we travel in all the different things we do in our lives, and then the question of farming. If we take steps towards a different kind of agriculture, such as organic farming, we will help to reduce this ecological footprint. Because, in organic farming, we support local agriculture and local consumption.

Today, when there is so much talk about exports, you have to bear in mind that the country needs to export, but that the domestic market cannot be forgotten. And the domestic market is connected with all of us, with our consumption. If one of the country’s aims is simply the question of exports, and we forget our production and our consumers, then we will import.

I am not opposed to imports. I am opposed to too many imports. Especially of products that we can produce here. I am not shocked if we need a particular product which we regard as fundamental and we have to import it if we don’t have the capacity to produce it. But, if we have the capacity … There always has to be a mixture of public policies, awareness-raising and informing citizens in order to develop new attitudes.

©Agrobio/Facebook Mercados Agrobio
©Agrobio/Facebook Mercados Agrobio


Are organic products expensive and only for those with sufficient purchasing power?

Access through selling these products close to the places where people live can make the products more affordable. The problem is how to make it happen.  At the start of organic farming in Portugal, there was less technical know-how. The farms were even more dispersed than today in relation to the point of consumption. There was even ignorance in terms of information and few specialists giving support and training. The farmers, even those who were working in organic farming, were less informed and all of this contributed to the fact that the price was different.
Alongside this, the impression was created that these products were only for certain people. This created a specific history and just one way of doing things. Today, this idea exists above all when we buy organic products in supermarket chains.


Organic production exists in a small quantity and on a scale that is inadequate for sales points such as a hypermarket, which requires large-scale supplies of products. This does not exist in organic farming. This inadequacy has to be paid for, and it is paid for in the final price to the consumer.

What percentage of the population can organic agriculture supply at present in Portugal?

At present it is about one percent, but organic agriculture can go further. The issue is that in organic farming there are also market problems, problems of enabling products to reach consumers, when, by contrast, it is easy to import them from the south of Spain or other countries to Portugal and supply the markets.

In organic farming, there is also a problem of market organisation. This is a task where Agrobio will help because, apart from the street markets that are becoming known, and more will open, we are going to carry out an experiment and create a market for supplying organic products.

When and where?
It will be in Lisbon, between December this year and March 2017. After that, it could be reproduced in other places. It is an experiment in bringing production together to reach the consumer more easily. The market will be open from Monday to Saturday; it will have one part for the wholesale supply market and another part which opens at the end of the day and at night for direct sales to the public.

It is a municipal market which will be totally converted for organic agriculture. This is because even shops, restaurants and hotels do not know where to buy organic products.

If, for example, we find Portuguese organic carrots at an organic produce shop for 2.40 euros and foreign ones for 1.80 euros, how should consumers react?

As I am Portuguese, I tend to buy Portuguese produce. But if there is a big difference in price between the products and you have difficulty buying them, you should think of alternative products. For example, to make soup you can use pumpkin which is cheaper and other products that are much cheaper, more accessible and are easily produced in Portugal.

When you buy an organic hamper, how can you be sure that it is all genuine?

Fraud exists in any area or sector. But this is the only type of farming that has a system of controls and guarantees for the consumer, which doesn’t exist in other types of farming.

In the case of eggs. How can it be guaranteed that the animals were never fed with genetically modified maize?

There is a certification system under which it is obligatory not to accept genetically modified organisms in the feeding of these animals. If any problems are discovered with these eggs, there is obviously a problem of fraud, and fraud is penalised.

And what guarantees exist in other non-organic products concerning animal feed, eggs and everything else? Probably zero, because this is not even considered.

People who opt for organic foodstuffs are concerned about the environment. But don’t imports reduce the benefits through pollution from transportation?

People who purchase them have to take the decision! A well-informed, enlightened consumer is certainly a consumer who will have a different ecological footprint. At Agrobio, we do not focus just on production or sales, we also go to schools. Today, we are living at a favourable time for agriculture, in the sense that there is more talk about agriculture today and I feel that there are many more people who are interested in pursuing agriculture.

Vários cartazes promocionais da Terra Sã, Feira Nacional de Agricultura Biológica, realizadas por todo o país pela Agrobio.
Ads from “Terra Sã, Feira Nacional de Agricultura Biológica”, from Agrobio.


Were people prejudiced before?

There was a prejudice, a stigma. Agriculture meant, and still does in some cases, poverty, low incomes, difficulties. I’m not saying that this has disappeared. What we have to do is develop a new kind of agriculture to try and remove this prejudice so that people really notice changes.

Agriculture is frequently focused on farmers, their problems, their techniques, and on production, and one thing is forgotten: where do products go to? They go to consumers. If we want to bring about a change, these people have to be made part of agriculture.

Another one of our tasks at Agrobio is to develop alternatives from the point of view not only of production, but also of sales. This is because a farmer who is far away from consumers is always a farmer who might produce agricultural products that are not very advantageous for him.

Is there a shortage of farmers?

There is. The statistics tell us that there are currently around three thousand farmers in Portugal. Last year, many people became involved thanks to EU support for organic farming. To such an extent that this support for converting or maintaining farms has now run out. There is a clear lack of farmers, despite the fact that the number is growing, and there isn’t enough production. It’s growing, but it’s not enough.

We have already identified areas where we need more production and we are talking to people there. The people are there, we just need to talk to them so that they produce more of certain things, in specific conditions. It is also necessary for the people who want to sell these products to have contracts with the farmers. They have to tell them that they want the produce within six months, make commitments, and guarantee a specific price when production is complete. It is something that has never been tried in organic farming, but we will be drawing up contracts with the farmers, in such a way that they will produce a specific product for a specific price and Agrobio will give the people who sign these contracts the technical support and certification that is included in the final price. It is a pioneering project and we will try to demonstrate that it is possible.

There are also technical issues. Today we have more technicians who specialise in organic farming, but there aren’t enough. One of the things that will be happening in Portugal in the near future is that we will be working on this. We are not doing this alone, ensuring that there is a plan, a strategy for organic farming in Portugal. This will give a signal to people and to the Ministry of Agriculture itself. This is because, if you go to a regional directorate to get information about organic farming, you will have difficulty in finding what you need to know.

Do you have the feeling that people are interested in this kind of agriculture?

I can tell you that two or three people contact Agrobio every day because they want to do organic farming. When we talk to new farmers who want to embark on organic farming, we always talk to them about varied production.
You have to bear in mind that most new farmers come from the cities. I am talking about over 90 percent. The new farmers don’t come from the countryside, they come from the city and they will bring about a huge change in agriculture.

I can say that there will be a new kind of agriculture in Portugal within ten years. Obviously some will be conventional, but others will be organic. They will bring in a new approach to agriculture, new products. I hope they bring greater production, which is what we lack today.

The current agro-industrial complex is responsible for 55% of the greenhouse effect. What is Agrobio’s plan for reducing this?

The first point is information, training and awareness-raising about the foodstuffs we consume today that have this impact. An impact on health, on the environment, but also on our society. People with better health, who show greater respect for the environment will, of necessity, change society.

There is also the aspect of public policy. We live in a regulated society, organised, with laws. We will probably have to change the laws that already exist as well. Then we have to move on to demonstration. We have to have projects that people can visit and understand that this is not something distant, or only for some people.

The worst thing for organic farming is for someone to think that it is only for certain people. It’s not true. The idea is that products can be more accessible and produced by everyone. And that’s another change!

I think that these changes will happen more and more because of the impact on health and on the environment that already exists today. History didn’t start today. There is a history, and I think it is essential for us to learn from past examples, as happened with DDT 30 or 40 years ago, and now we can talk about the case of genetically modified foods.

www.agrobio.pt \ geral@agrobio.pt
Tel.: [+351] 213 641 354
Tel.: [+351] 918 545 115


Points of Sale

Bio products near you:



Mão de Terra\
Urb. Cerrado da Praia
Pr. Bartolomeu Dias, 87-97
T 212 890 713 \ 966 605 736

Alcagoita Manteiga do Amendoim\
Maria Vinagre
Rua Da Frente 7
T 282 994 021

Bio Delícias\
Rua Emídio Pinto nº 12 B \ Stº. António
Costa da Caparica
T  218 241 142 \ 925 963 336

Agrobio de Cacilhas\
Junto ao Terminal Fluvial de Cacilhas
Qua 14-20h

Agrobio de Almada\
Praça das Forças Armadas
Sáb 9-14h

Quinta da Herdeira\
Rua da Quinta da Herdeira
Foros da Amora
T 916 184 336 \ 914 968 004
Entrega cabazes ao domicílio.

Sanfins, Sever do Vouga
T 917 745 008

Rua Doutor Alberto Souto, 31
T 234 426 685

Agrobio de Aveiro\
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Sáb 9-14h

Vertente dos Sabores\
T 915 388 815
Entrega cabazes ao domicílio

Biobrassica, Lda.\
R. Dr. António Palha, n.º 15,
Lj 11, Lamaçães
T 253 271 187

Feira de Produtos Biológicos de Braga\
Praça Cândido Costa Pires
Mercado Cultural do Carandá
Sáb  9-12h30

Jardim Verde Braga\
C. C. Minho Center, Lj. 46
T 253 252 880

Celeiro Dieta Celeiro Dieta\
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Jardim Verde Cascais \
C. C. Pão de Açucar, Lj. 18
T 214 841 919

Jardim Verde Cascais Villa\
C. C. Cascais Villa, Lj. 1.14
T 214 818 742

Loja da Horta – Parede\
Jardins do Buzano134
Rua Melvin Jones
T 962 071 338

Agrobio de Cascais\
Jardim Marechal Carmona
Sáb 9-14h

Biológicos da Rainha\
Rua Diário de Notícias, 13
T 262 877 520

Sabor Bio\
Bc. do Freixo 4- Moita
2500-368 Alvorninha

Bio Verde\
Rua de Santo António 19
(junto à Rua J.A. Morão)
T 272 323 809 \ 960 209 241

Herdade do Escrivão\
Av. 1º de Maio 119 R/c
T 272 324 484

Quinta da Fornalha\
T 281 541 733 \ T 917 107 147 \ 919 889 366

Quental Biológico\
Rua Antero de Quental, 223
T 964 197 770

Av. Calouste Gulbenkian nº 99
T 239 406 793 \ 910 840 484

Restaurante Cozinha Consciente\
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T 239 091 948  \  929 412 000
Seg a Sáb 12:30-15h

Mercadinho Bio do Botânico\
Jardim Botânico
Sáb, 10-14h

Espinhal, Coimbra
T 965 287 896

Quinta da Seara | Turismo Rural
R. Padre José Pires Afonso
T 253 961 284

Av. Biarritz 12
T 214 647 29

German Corner | Pina Stein Casa Belo Ar\
Rua Cova da Castelhana
Mte Estoril
T 214 688 876 \ 964 332 240

Organic Cafe\
Palácio Estoril Hotel
Rua Particular
T 910 787 656
Seg, Qua, Qui 10-20h + Sex a Dom 10-22h

Rua do Raimundo 115
T 266 094 167 \ 969 069 507

Rua de Viana 11
T 965 412 156
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Mercearia Saruga\
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Quinta Seis Marias\
Sargaçal – T 916 704 894
Qui\Sex 10-14h

Av. Marquês de Pombal 12 B
T 244 233 035

Alfazema-Mercado Biológico\
R Santana à Lapa 113 – T 213 951 522

Amor Bio\
Praça de Alvalade 9 A• T 210 996 694

Rua Salgueiro Maia 12 – Figo Maduro (Frente ao Aeroporto Militar)
T 219 410 479

Bioino-Mercearia Biológica\
Parque das Nações Alameda dos Oceanos, Lj 3.14.02G
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Avenida Duque de Ávila 141 B (Saldanha)
T 967 858 091

Brio – Campo de Ourique\
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T 213 866 406

Brio – Chiado\
Travessa do Carmo 1
(Chiado Plaza)
T 213 427 324

Brio – Picoas\
Rua Joaquim Bonifácio 21
T 213 570 293

Celeiro Dieta,
Dietimport, SA\
Rua 1º de Dezembro 65

Celeiro Dieta,
Dietimport, SA\
Av. João XXI 22 – C

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Dietimport, SA\
Centro Comercial Colombo, Lj 0051

Comida vegetariana e macrobiótica
R. Eng.º Vieira da Silva, Mercado 31 de Janeiro – Lj 24
T 213 140 452

Pr.a Ilha do Faial, 14 A/B e 13C
T 213 553 993

Jardim Verde\
C. C. Carrefour, Lj. 20
T 217 162 747

sumos biológicos
Avenida João Crisóstomo 23B (Saldanha)
T 213 520 323 e  961351233

Mercado Agrobio
do Campo Pequeno\
Jardim do Campo Pequeno
Sáb 9h-14h

Agrobio de São Vicente\
Jardim Botto Machado
Sáb 8h-14h

Mercado Biológico
do Príncipe Real\
Jardim do Príncipe Real
Sáb 08:00-14:00

Mercado da Ribeira\
Lj 61 Freixo do Meio
T 936 909 373
Ter-Sáb 10-20h

R. Marquês Sá da Bandeira 16A
T 217 959 357 \ 934 300 665

Organii – Cosmética Bio\
R. Rodrigues de Faria 103
T 21 099 9763

Boqueirão do Duro 46
T 215 987 650

Quinta à Quarta\
Cabazes. Entregas em toda a zona da Grande Lisboa.

Quinta da Pedra Branca\
T 261 968 012
Cabazes com entrega em Lisboa

Terra Pura\
Centro Comercial das Amoreiras, Lj 1138
T 213 832 225

Terra Pura\
Centro Comercial Colombo, Lj 0044
T 217 163 361

Espaço Vegan & Bio, Lda
Av. de Ceuta, Urb. A NORA
Lote 3 Lj B – Quarteira
T 925 587 172

Loja da Horta\
Alameda Nuno de Brion, Lj C
T 962 207 766

Loja da Alimentação Biológica\
Mercado Municipal de Matosinhos – Lj 46 e 44
T 229 380 980 \ 962 568 549
Encerrado à Segunda-feira

Herdade do Freixo do Meio\
Foros do Vale Figueira
T 266 877 136  \  936 909 373

Quinta das Mélias\
CCI 6501 Torroal, Passil
T 212 323 439 \ 212 319 083
T 919 356 861 – ( 9-19h)

Jardim Verde Odivelas\
C. C. Odivelas Parque,
Lj. 1.140 B – 10-23h
T 219 317 217

Rua A Gazeta de Oeiras, 4A T 210 987 546

Brio – Carnaxide
Avenida do Forte 10, Carnaxide• T 214 161 865

Celeiro Dieta,
Dietimport, SA\
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Agrobio de Oeiras
Jardim de Oeiras
Sáb 9h-14h

Mercearia Bio\
Rua das Comunicações
Edf Casa do Ria Lj C
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Jardim 1º de Dezembro
Sáb 9h – 14h

Armazém – Rua da Cavada 102
Paços de Ferreira
T 255 400 497
Entrega em todo o país

Rua Damião 69
T 225 026 222 \ 919 915 080
Feira Biológica Núcleo Rural do Pq. da Cidade\
Verão: das 10:00 às 20:00.

Rua do Crasto, nº210
T 226 172 063

Horta à Porta\
Rua Eng Ferreira Dias, 924 Armazem G1
T 939 675 399 \ 913 120 474

Ideal Bio\
Rua 5 de Outubro 352
T 960 424 711  \  226 091 873

Loja Biológica\
Produtos Alimentares Biológicos
Praceta Francisco Sá Carneiro nº 17 A
T 256 395 402  \  912 176 025
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Mio – Super Natural\
Av. Madre Andaluz
T 914355754 \ 966510177

Celeiro Dieta,
Dietimport, SA\
Hipermercado do Seixal Lj 10

Green Planet \
Produtos Biológicos Lda. Praceta Emídio Santana, Lt 11B, Zona Industrial do Casal do Marco
T 212 268 400

Segredo da Planta\
Praceta Emídio Santana, Lt 11B, Zona Industrial do Casal do Marco
T 212 268 400

Agrobio de Setúbal\
Jardim do Quebedo
Quin,14-20h (horário de Verão).

Do Lado de Cá\
Mercado Municipal de Vila Nova de Santo André
T 918 837 121
Sex e Sáb 8- 13h

A Beterraba
Merc. Municipal de Tavira, Lj 8
T 281 328 609 \ 966 479 261

Restaurante e Mercearia
Travessa da Mesericórdia 3
T 910 113 310

Herdade Matos\
Rua 26 de Dezembro 143 – Tojosa | Barreiro Besteiros
T 960 458 102
Entrega de cabaz ao domicílio

Serra Verde\
Alojamento Local
Herdade Serra dos Mendes
T 266 830 017

A Saudável\
Rua Miguel Bombarda 23
T 925 150 861
Testes de intolerância alimentar e consultas de dermatologia

A Quintinha\
Rua Velha dos Lagos 45
T 918 683 147\934 780 331
969 001 913

Cantinho das Aromáticas\
Quinta do Paço
Rua do Meiral 508
T 227 710 301 \ 912 260 714

da Horta e Pomar\
Rua Fonte Lodosa 225
T 961 039 927/8
Entregas ao domicílio de 2ª a 6ª das 15h às 22h.

Horta do Alvão\
T 910 953 451
Entrega cabazes ao domicílio

Quero-te Bio\
T 967 044 868
Entrega no continente e ilhas

Green Goji\
T 965 051 376
Entrega no continente e ilhas

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