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Consuming Portuguese, here and now

by ace
Consuming Portuguese, here and now

It is not new that the crisis caused by the new coronavirus has changed the way we consume. Under the advice of only making purchases when strictly necessary, coupled with the restlessness of social distance measures, it is likely that many have ignored the origin of the products they buy.

However, being a country that still depends significantly on agriculture, Portugal saw the vast majority of workers in this sector with their jobs at risk, given the almost total stoppage of production. In the current period of uncertainty when the national economy is trying to adapt to the “new normal”, this process may not be so simple for smaller producers, highly dependent on local consumers.

After an emergency situation and the consequent deactivation of most sectors of the country in recent months, it is important to reduce the damage caused by it. And that is precisely the aim of these ideas. Joining forces with national producers, its fundamental objective is to help the Portuguese to buy with more awareness and quality while boosting the national economy (and, in the case of one of them, to support hospitals in the front line).

I Support National Production

Launched by the communication agency Global Press, this platform brings together Portuguese stores and brands from various areas, from wines and craft beers to textiles and jewelery, among many other products and solidarity packages whose sales revert 10% to hospitals currently facing pandemic on the front line.

The objective of this movement is, in the long term, to increase the dynamics of the Portuguese economy, promoting the consumption of national products and trying to maintain commercial relations for a quick recovery of companies and the national economy. “In the first moment of confinement, with all the restrictions imposed, the disruptions in the distribution and consumption channels were huge and Portuguese producers, some of them a little behind in digitization and e-commerce, would necessarily be the most impacted since many national producers saw its main outlet channels closed “explains Isabel Jorge de Carvalho, CEO of Global Press. “The website of the Eu Apoio a Produção Nacional movement presents itself as a contact and communication platform facilitating work for the consumer, in what is today a design of national interest: choosing to consume Portuguese, generating wealth and maintaining jobs in Portugal “.

With brands such as Arcádia, A&D Wines, Victoria Handmade, Cerveja Letra and many others, the platform continues to receive applications from several companies, which only have to meet two conditions: be Portuguese and donate 10% of the sales of a product or solidarity pack to Public Hospitals. Isabel Jorge de Carvalho adds that “aid to national hospitals is currently less necessary since the government and civil society have mobilized in order to provide hospitals with the necessary resources”, but the desire to boost the economy remains if. Learn more at (www.consumirportugues.pt)


This non-profit initiative was developed in 2015 by chef João Rodrigues, initially for the Feitoria restaurant (at Altis Belém Hotel & Spa) to promote national producers with good agricultural practices and animal husbandry that respected the environment. It was born from a search from North to South for the identity of Portuguese gastronomic culture at a time when it was mainly resorting to international production, due to the lack of consistency of the national one. This factor reformulated its initial objective, today in favor of disseminating, sharing information and creating synergies that can put consumers and chefs in contact with producers, thus enhancing the distribution of national products (such as the Matéria Menu or Matéria Dinners) . “The more chefs who want to use the products, the easier and more sustainable it will be for producers to create a delivery logistics” summarizes Tiago Rodrigues.

Although the chef confesses that the pandemic has affected producers, as they are deprived of the sector formed by hotels, restaurants and cafes, he guarantees that at the same time “it opened a window of opportunity for many of them to start with the logistics for delivery to private homes” , and the vast majority did not stop working or supplying. As life in the cities begins to open, Matéria has just entered its second phase, connecting with other similar projects and turning the whole gastronomic community around: “These are multidisciplinary projects that are transversal to gastronomy: ceramists, artisans, cutlery, grocery stores, specialty stores, mycology, work on wine, beekeeping, olive oil, sociology, history of food, etc. “. The project is financed by Turismo de Portugal, in partnership with Icel and the Altis Hotels Group as development partners and with the institutional support of the National Unesco Commission. Learn more at https://www.projectomateria.pt/

Feed who feeds you

Launched by the Ministry of Agriculture (in partnership with the National Rural Network, Federation Minha Terra, Local Action Groups and Municipalities), this new site aims to support farmers and promote the consumption of national products, helping them to deliver ingredients fresh and of quality while bringing the consumer closer to the local producer (at a time of appeal to shelter at home). The idea, of course, is to promote conscious consumption and moderate outlets. From this online platform, any producer will be able to, simply and quickly, register to later advertise their products and baskets available for order or delivery. On the other side of the screen, the consumer will be able to quickly search by municipality or product (organic or not) in order to locate producers in their region, facilitating their contact. Learn more at https://www.alimentaquemoalimenta.pt/


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