Still a niche, but growing fast!

Interview to Joaquim Grilo, CEO of Herdade do Carvalhoso, about the role of environmental footprint in Portugal and PEFMED benefit.

Mr Grilo, can you briefly describe your company? When was it funded? What is the main business? Is your market national or international?

The company works with organic products and especially with natural products. It’s a company that was set up as a conventional company and then in 1996, moved in to the organic part.

The company has a rice factory, a feed plant, a balance in all the cereals and in all the products. At the moment, it’s a company with national focus, and that’s trying to develop, in this area too, which is still quite a primitive area, because it’s a completely different development line.

What is the trust of your company in the sustainability? What are the practices already in use in your company to reduce the environmental footprint determined by your industrial production?

Herdade do Carvalhoso makes the product as natural as possible, and taking into account that the line of thought is the sustainability of the company.

That’s why, when products come into Herdade do Carvalhoso, we try to use all the nutrients and all the micronutrients, so it doesn’t leave footprints on the environment or carbon footprints. Absolutely nothing is lost.

Is the market (final consumers) attention to green production growing over the recent years? In terms of competitiveness and income, can better production standards make the difference in the market competition?

It’s still a niche. But the organic part is being developed, the healthy food part. The culture of eating and everything is developing in people.

Can you describe your experience in the PEFMED pilot action?

I was lucky enough to be working with people that developed my ideas and were able to turn them into something useful and educational, for environmental balance and for balance in health.

I think that PEFMED is a useful project. It’s a project that is good for the community, also to help bringing people closer and closer to nature.

The final “innovation index”, based on the results of the pilot actions, will emphasize  the readiness of your company to embed  the technical requirements foreseen by the PEF regulations. Additionally, the comparison of the results will provide meaningful info about how your company attitude to green production  is positioned within the average of the Mediterranean agrofood industry.

How could you use the recommendations provided by the PEFMED to improve the competitive of your company? 

I worked on the project, worked hard on it, and if necessary, I’m available to make all this even better.

Now I also hope that the final project will be able to help me continue to develop and balance the company in this project I have, of balance with the environment and with nature.

Do you think that the Herdade do Carvalhoso is a pioneering company in this sector organic food, agro-food, in terms of organic feed?

It’s pioneering because it’s never been done. It’s a very simple process, and it’s a process we have to develop.

My experience tells me that meat must have a balance between fiber and fat. So it has to be a feed that makes animals produce better quality meat for human consumption, for people who eat meat.

This means, the better the meat, the better the balance between the fiber and fat and the constituents of the meat, and this comes from better animal feed.

That’s why this is what we do at the Herdade do Carvalhoso.

And this also means bringing the animal’s health closer to the environment.

Marco Meggiolaro

Marco Meggiolaro works at Euris - European Researches & Investments Services - in Padova since 2005 as project manager.

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