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Take Portugal with you at ‘Digital Agriexport 4.0’

DIGITAL AGRIEXPORT 4.0 International Meeting take Portugal with You

The agri-food industry is a strategic sector for boosting the Portuguese economy. In recent years there has been a change in the profile of agri-food companies: a greater concern for the quality of raw materials, product differentiation, and a commitment to design and branding are some of the main elements that distinguish this industry, making it a highly competitive sector.  

Portugal is a high-quality producer with an increasing degree of innovation, which further strengthens its partnerships as a supplier to various international markets. The Portuguese agri-food industry is one of the sectors with the highest level of development and is enjoying exponential growth, promoting the incorporation of innovation in the production processes of traditional products and the creation of products with high added value.  

Companies in the sector are increasingly well-equipped in terms of food safety, operating in compliance with the requirements set by the European Union with the backing of the necessary certifications for global exports.

Wines, oils and preserves are a key part of the acclaimed Mediterranean Diet, and olive oils from Portugal are no exception, winning distinctions at the main international olive oil competitions every year. Portugal is among the world’s top ten exporters of both olive oils and wine. Portuguese agri-food companies have invested in high quality standards as well as the most advanced technical solutions available on the market to modernize their processes and make them more efficient. These factors have led to the rapid evolution of the sector and the companies that operate within it, resulting in a considerable increase in exports from the agri-food industry. The Portuguese climate is ideal for producing fruit and vegetables, which is why Portugal not only comfortably meets its own domestic demand but is also in a position to export large volumes of top quality fresh produce.

Trade relations between the players in the Portuguese agri-food sector and the international market are founded on cooperation and transparency, both of which are key factors when it comes to establishing and sustaining long-term relationships. 

The Digital AgriExport 4.0 event, held under the slogan of Take Portugal with You, will take place online between 12 and 23 April this year. The action is organized by Inovcluster, the Agri-Food Association for the Central Region of Portugal, and some 40 international importers have already registered.

This international event is the ideal meeting point for international buyers to get a greater insight into Portuguese specialities – from snacks, cheeses, and preserves to fruit and vegetables, charcuterie, olives and olive oils, wines, and a huge variety of natural, organic products.

Buyers who are interested in taking part in the event should send an email to Inovcluster at to request their access code and enjoy all the features available on the digital platform.

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DIGITAL AGRIEXPORT 4.0 International Meeting: take Portugal with you

DIGITAL AGRIEXPORT 4.0 International Meeting take Portugal with You

InovCluster, the AgriFood Cluster Association of the Central Region of Portugal, which works to promote, develop and transfer knowledge in the agri-food sector, is organizing the Digital AgriExport 4.0 meeting, which will take place between 12 and 23 April 2021.

In the midst of the pandemic, with the impact of COVID-19 on the global market and the difficulties involved in face-to-face participation in international events, InovCluster is organizing this online action to promote Portuguese agri-food exports. The event will comprise two weeks of networking, during which Portuguese companies will hold business meetings with importers from different international markets.

This action is part of the AgriExport 4.0 project, which aims to increase overall international recognition of the goods produced by the Portuguese agri-industrial sector and to support the internationalization of SMEs through a joint online promotional campaign.

Digital AgriExport 4.0 will be organized through an online platform that specializes in virtual meetings. It will be attended by representatives of the different sections of the Portuguese agrifood sector, who will meet with buyers from different international markets with the aim of driving their business from a single, integrated platform.

mporters who sign up for the meetings will find producers from all the different sectors of the Portuguese agri-food industry, including fresh fruit and vegetables, preserves, meat products, cheeses, wines, oils, snacks, and other gourmet products. With just three weeks to go before the start of this digital mission, buyers have already been confirmed from markets of great interest to Portugal such as Germany, Dubai, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, among others.

The platform is already in operation, so importers who want to learn more about what the Portuguese agri-food sector has to offer can now register free of charge to make contact with the companies of most interest to them and arrange a date and time to hold a business meeting.

For formalize your registration, go to

For more information on the Digital AgriExport 4.0 event, importers are also welcome to contact InovCluster:

Email: Tel: +351 272 349 100 InovCluster – Cluster Agroindustrial do Centro

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Transitex opens rail link between Elvas and the Port of Huelva

Transitex opens rail link between Elvas and the Port of Huelva copyright. Transitex
© Transitex


Transitex will begin operating a weekly train between Elvas and the Port of Huelva in June 2020, marking a new phase in the company’s history. Transitex is aware of the growth of the region and the need for a varied offer of solutions that allows companies to continue growing in a sustainable way. The Port of Huelva, due to its growth, geographical proximity and the alternatives it offers, is a fundamental link in the success story that Transitex has helped to build, collaborating for the cohesion of this border area of ​​the peninsula.

Transitex began its activity in Elvas in July 2005 and operates between the logistics platform and the ports on the Atlantic coast. Containers are transported weekly from Elvas, offering logistics solutions from both sides of the border to increase the competitiveness of companies in the region. In the last 15 years, the ports of Sines, Setúbal, Lisbon and Leixões have received cargo transported by Transitex, a service integrated into the door-to-door offer that the network of its own offices allows it to build, across four continents.

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Luis Vicente presents ‘Maria’ brand of premium fruit

Luis Vicente presents 'Maria' brand of premium fruit


Portuguese fruit leader Luis Vicente is adding value to its range with the creation of new brands and its testing new products to add to its portfolio. The firm’s new brand for premium fruit from Portugal is called ‘Maria’. Managing director, Miguel Barbosa, said, “We chose the name Maria because of its associations in Portugal with freshness, sweetness and tradition. It’s a traditional Portuguese name. This has helped us to raise awareness of the brand and make it a household name. As an interesting curiosity, many girls are called Maria, and we have heard that they remove the stickers from our fruits and place them on their schoolbooks and phones.” The firm is also promoting its other brands, which include ‘Plump’, for its range of tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, papaya) and Frubis, for its range of dried and fresh-cut fruit. Meanwhile, Luis Vicente is seeking to further expand its wide offer and is currently testing new varieties of peach and plum in its fields in Portugal. 

Founded 60 years ago, Luis Vicente also has its own production in Brazil, Costa Rica, Angola and Morocco. Its main fresh products in Portugal are the Rocha pear, the Gala apple and stone fruit. Its main export markets are Brazil the UK, as well as Germany, Spain and Canada. Luis Vicente has logistics operations in Portugal, including the islands of the Azores and Madeira, and an outlet at Madrid’s central market (Mercamadrid) and owns state-of-the-art technology certified by IFS Food and BRC Food standards.

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Veracruz Launches a mega almond plantation in Portugal, a €50 million investment

Veracruz Launches a mega almond plantation in Portugal, a €50 million investment

The Portuguese-Brazilian group is currently planting 2,000 hectares of almond trees in Beira Baixa, one of the most promising regions in the Interior of Portugal. The goal is to reach 5,000 hectares. The project also includes the installation of a shelling and processing plant for almonds.

There will be more than 3 million almond trees on two thousand hectares of land, spread over five farms located in two counties of the Portuguese interior, Fundão and Idanha-a-Nova. The investment of €50 million in the almond plantation that the Portuguese-Brazilian Veracruz group is growing in the Beira Baixa region is one of the largest agricultural projects ever carried out in the district of Castelo Branco – and has just been recognized by the Portuguese Government as a PIN (Potential National Interest), a directive that highlights enterprises with relevant impact in the country and which promote economic, social, technological and environmental sustainability.

When the plantation is fully installed and production is fully up and running, these fields will produce 4 thousand tons of almonds, all of them traditional Mediterranean varieties. This is the first phase of Veracruz’s investment which, in the future, and through the opening of capital to other investors, should reach 5,000 hectares of almond trees planted.

“One of our mission is to make Portugal an important player in the sector of nuts in Europe. Due to its soil and climate characteristics, Portugal has great potential to become an important reference for almond cultivation, which currently is concentrated in California, accounting for 80% of total production. On the other hand, because of its geographical location, we are very close to consumers, since Europe accounts for more than 40% of global consumption”, said David Carvalho, co-founding partner of the company that expects to export about 70% of production. Stressing that there is already an international recognition of the quality of products produced in Portugal, the businessman believes that “it is possible to enhance the reputation of the ‘almonds of Portugal’ brand, similar to what has happened in the wine and olive oil sectors”.

Filipe Rosa, co-founder and partner, says that the choice of Portugal and, more specifically, the region of Beira Baixa was due not only to the climate and soils perfectly adapted to the culture, but also “to the availability of land and water. And, as importantly, the political will demonstrated by local mayors to welcome our project and reverse the process of desertification in the Interior. We are an ‘anchor project’ that aims to create a production cluster to add value to this region. We are going to create more than 150 direct and indirect jobs in the coming years and we are committed to hiring local labor whenever possible”. The businessman points out that this is still the first phase of the project: “In the very near future, with the right partners, we intend to expand our impact and increase our plantation to 5,000 hectares”, he adds.

The Veracruz venture also foresees, by 2021, the installation of a shelling and processing plant for almonds in the same region, with an investment of €6.5 million. With capacity to receive and transform the production of other local producers, guaranteeing them channels to distribute their product, this unit will attract other investments in almond trees for those counties and rehabilitate abandoned land, promoting economic and social development of the area.

Betting on the latest technologies in smart farming, this project employs drones and satellite capture images to follow the development and health of the plants. Simultaneously, it implements the most sustainable precision agriculture technologies and a circular economy, with, for example, the introduction of probes into the soil for monitoring water use and fertilizers. In addition to scientific and technological partnerships with local institutes and universities, Veracruz intends to support agrotech startups by offering part of their land as exploration and showroom fields for these new projects.


About Veracruz

The company was founded after an exhaustive economic-financial study on the cultivation of almonds worldwide, undertaken by the partners David Carvalho (Brazilian descendant of Portuguese, founder and manager of several technology companies in Brazil) and Filipe Rosa (a Portuguese serial entrepreneur who has launched six technology startups on both sides of the ocean). With the intention of working the land and applying the most advanced agricultural technologies, Veracruz installed its headquarters in Castelo Branco and, in 2018, started the almond plantation in Fundão and Idanha-a-Nova. The company is working together with other producers in this sector in Portugal at the launch of the National Association of Dry Fruits Producers, interested, among other objectives, in producing sustained knowledge about the sector and its practices.

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Chinese market opens to Portuguese grapes

Chinese market opens to Portuguese grapes

Following China’s president Xi Jinping’s trip to Portugal in December 2018, several bilateral agreements have been sealed, including a protocol allowing Portugal to export table grapes to China. Portugal has also agreed to join China’s “One Belt, one Road” initiative, which could have significant implications on the flow of agriculture trade between the EU and China. The Portuguese port of Sines will be part of this initiative to promote the connection between Europe and Asia in sectors such as transport, energy and trade. Portugal and China also reaffirmed the cooperation with third countries, in regions such as Africa and Latin America, according to the joint declaration signed at the end of the visit.

Although Portuguese grape production is relatively small, the Portuguese fruit and vegetable industry hopes this protocol on table grapes will lead to other more competitive Portuguese products be allowed to enter China. In 2017, Portuguese table grapes production was 16,000 tons. In 2017, Portugal imported 31,717 tons of table grapes and exported 6,404 tons of table grapes mainly to other EU countries, worth US$12 million.

Source: USDA

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Pegasus Agriculture: the future of hydroponics

Hydroponics Market Anticipated to Grow from $19.9 billion in 2015 to $27.3 billion in 2020

Pegasus Agriculture is one of the leading owners and operators of hydroponic farming facilities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Its office is strategically located in Dubai, U.A.E., and serves as the headquarters for its global growing and distribution network.

“With over 150 years of combined market experience, Pegasus Agriculture continues to lead the MENA region in its goal to contribute to its independent food security,” said Mahmood Almas, chairman of the group.

The group has designed different hydroponic systems adapted to every different growing region to produce during a full 12 month period. The units designed for the Middle East have a double roof system to protect the plants from the sun.

Other indoor types of farms are adapted to Nordic countries like Russia and based on large buildings of concrete, using the latest generation of LED light. This system is much cheaper than advanced Dutch glasshouses, and also more productive,” added Almas.

Omani Farm

Last year, Pegasus opened the first half of its 2 ha operation planned in Oman specialising in leafy greens. “2016 was the first summer crop, which was produced with success and we were able to control the high summer temperatures,” Almas said.

It is divided into greenhouses of 0.5 ha area each (144 by 36 m2 ). Each includes 25 to 30 production lines that are 15 m long, 2 m wide and 2.5 m high. Each production unit includes 16 crop lines; 8 on each side. The productivity is achieving a record level of 180 kg/m2 of lettuces, with production of 14 crop cycles every year.

Portugal’s Proença-a-Nova Park to supply UK market

In a meeting on 16th August, the City Council approved the transfer of designated plots to Pegasus Agriculture, with the aim of constructing hydroponic farms. The structure is expected to be completed by May 2017, and the vast majority of the subsequently farmed produce is to be destined for export, the priority target being the UK.

Pegasus plans to invest two and a half million euros (€2.5 million) per hectare of production and employ 12 people in the first phase of production (of three phases). “This new investment with other companies that today are already in the business park confirms the location’s capacity to attract new companies and thus promote employability,” said President Mayor of Proenca-a-Nova, John Wolf.

Read more fresh produce industry news from edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine online here:

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SPAR Portugal hits 100-store mark

Ten years after opening its first store, SPAR Portugal has reached the 100-store mark. To achieve this fantastic milestone, the business opened four stores in one day in April 2016.

Within a decade of opening its first store, SPAR Portugal has reached the 100-store milestone, helping the feat along by opened four stores in one day in April this year.

And Spar says it has ongoing plans for expansion in the country, with warehouse expansion currently in progress to support it.

In a press release, SPAR Portugal said its goal is to develop a network of SPAR supermarkets throughout Portugal’s mainland and islands.

“SPAR has been able to expand into new cities and regions over the past few years by working with independent retailers keen to partner with SPAR Portugal, thereby enabling them to offer a retail brand which their customers recognise. The majority of stores are located in the popular tourist destinations of Lisbon, the Algarve, Madeira and the Azores, with a presence also seen in key mainland markets.”

It also said a major development has been the investment in company owned stores. This  initiative started in 2014 and there are now 19 company owned stores operating in Portugal which “act as flagships for the SPAR Brand and for independent retailer recruitment and the trialling of new SPAR products.”

SPAR Portugal has acquired an additional 12 AliSuper stores, all located in the Algarve which are being converted to the SPAR Neighborhood format. “The stores in the Algarve will concentrate on the tourist market with strong ranges of imported and seasonal products. By expanding the number of company-owned SPAR Supermarkets, there is greatly increased brand visibility in this growing market,” SPAR said.

“Attention is also being given to developing new concepts such as Treehouse© Juice Bars, SPAR Cafés, and an extended Food-to-Go offer.”

Improving warehouse capabilities

To meet the requirements of the rapidly expanding business, SPAR Portugal now has a new 6,000m2 warehouse in Alverca Lisbon, “which resulted in an immediate improvement in operational processes and enabled continuous growth” and will help the business “continue to grow in store numbers and assortment.”

Future development plans include the installation of a centralised chilled operations system for the warehouse, as well as the establishment of a regional warehouse on the Azores, which is currently being planned with the SPAR International team, it said.

Source: SPAR International

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Country Profile: Portugal

Screenshot 2015-04-16 at 17

The Portuguese fresh produce sector (including plants and flowers) accounts for 33% o Portuguese agricultural production and 61% of plant production and is worth around €2.23 billion (INE, 2013). The most dynamic subsectors are those of the Rocha pear, citrus, kiwi and fresh tomatoes.

The Rocha pear is exported worldwide and is the flagship of the Portuguese fresh produce sector with more than 70% of all Portuguese pears being exported. Farmers have been investing in new orchards in recent years, hoping to boost production from 210,000 tons (in 2014) to 350,000 tons (in 2020).

Another fruit which is doing very well in Portugal is the kiwi which has doubled production over the last decade and is estimated to increase to 40,000 in the next five years due to the number of new orchards planted in recent years and the increase in yield. Citrus accounts for the largest percentage of fruit production in Portugal (236,800 tons in 2013) and, in the last decade, exports (oranges) have grown from zero to 100,737 tons (2012, worth €54.3M), half of the country’s production.


Exports of fruit, vegetables and flowers account for 21% of agrifood exports from Portugal and have more than tripled since 2000 (€299M) to 2014 (€996M, January to November). The value of fresh fruit exports increased by €306M between 2000 and 2014, accounting for €439M last year. The value of fresh vegetable exports is lower and grew at a slower rate, from 2000 to 2014, it rose €145M, totalling €214M last year.

Spain is by far the biggest importer of Portuguese fresh produce (€213M, in 2014), followed at a distance by France (€88M), The Netherlands (€74M) and the UK (€51M). Belgium, Poland, Brazil, Angola, Italy, Germany and Czech Republic are also in the top 10. Last February, Portugal was in the spotlight of the fresh produce world as the official partner country at Fruit Logistica, in Berlin. Several dozen Portuguese companies exhibited their products hoping to attract new clients.

Portugal relies on the flavour, aroma and colour of its fruit and vegetables and its capacity to produce early crops in the open air (some available all year), thanks to a mild climate, and, most of all, the country has a good image abroad, one still very much linked to nature and environmentally friendly production methods. Portugal Fresh, the association responsible for promoting the fresh produce sector, has set a goal for Portugal to reach exports of €2 billion by 2020.

Meanwhile, Portugal is working to overcome phytosanitary barriers and increase its number of export certifications. Negotiations are in place with 15 different countries: Brazil (table grapes, citrus and nectarines), China and Costa Rica (table grapes, pears, apples, citrus and kiwi), South Africa (strawberries, pears and apples), Japan (cherries), Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Panam, USA, India, Indonesia and Taiwan (pears and apples), Colombia (pears, plums, peaches, oranges, kiwis and apples) and Canada (plums).

„ NS

This is part of an article which appeared on page 22 of edition 136 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read the full article and much more here.