Local breeds are an important alternative to farmers from the less-favoured regions, contributing to farm income, rural development and the conservation of traditional landscapes. The lack of notability of the meat produced in the sustainable regimen and in organic production as well as its importance to the preservation of the biodiversity of a region doesn’t allow the public recognition. Thus, the differentiation and the high quality of the products seem to be the only alternative to stimulate the rural activity of the least-favoured with harsh conditions regions and the creation of added value in the region, promoting its sustainable development and natural landscapes, the preservation of breeding local practices and maintaining economic activity. The development of production of typical traditional and differentiated products begins to acquire a high interest as an alternative and they may become an important asset for the most disadvantaged, rural and agro regions since its production is based on the few elements for which these areas may be competitive: differentiation, quality, and territory
The project aims to valorise the territory through the sustainability and biodiversity preservation associated to Jarmelista breed preserving its genetics and identity, as well as production regimen. To this end, it intends to highlight the identity of this breed as the determinant factor for biodiversity maintenance in the region through its own sustainable and rustic production system. Thus, the valorisation of the territory, through Jarmelo meat will entail the analysis of its value chain from production to market.
- The genetic preservation and promotion of sustainable Jarmelo meat production;
- The identification of the correlation between differentiators characters and biochemical profile/ rheological of Jarmelo meat;
- Highlight the importance of biodiversity and territorial sustainability of Jarmelo beef production’s
- Develop policies for Jarmelo meat identification as a differentiating element in the production and marketing of meat products
- Analyse the strategic positioning of Jarmelo meat in the market;
- Propose increases in competitiveness in the post-production value chain of the Jarmelo meat;
- Prepare a strategy to support the development of products of “Jarmelo meat” in quality records;
- Make Jarmelo meat an endogenous enhancer product of the economic activity and appreciation of the region
- Analyse the territorial differentiation factors enhanced by Jarmelo meat
- Increase economic activity in the region (tourism and culture)
- Promote cultural activities and culinary essays
Organic production represents an integral part of the activity of numerous agricultural productions of regions and more rustic ecosystems that characterize the mountain environments. In these production systems, the animals are created in accordance with the rules laid down in the Community regulation for organic agriculture involving control over the factors and conditions that limit sometimes, productivity and profitability of farms. However, these systems are also responsible for the systems balance and their sustainability with the natural renewable resources by choosing vegetable/ crops/ animal production systems who advocate a more harmonious occupation of rural areas, respecting animal welfare and ensuring the conservation and improvement of soil fertility in long term. These aspects play a role of the utmost importance to the development of a sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture, animal welfare, and economy of these populations and also to the increased quality of meat, with beneficial attributes for human health.
Thus, starting from the characterisation of biochemical, nutritional, sensorial attributes as well as the development of new products and conservation methods based on its stability and suitability for processing, conservation, and maturation, it will be possible to develop a scientific-technical plan that supports an effective communication of the unique attributes of Jarmelo meat.
The lack of notability of the meat produced in sustainable regimen and in organic production as well as its importance to the preservation of the biodiversity of a region, not allow consumers recognition of its attributes and it’s not reflected in the purchase decision process of the meat.
The small farmer, given their limited economic and technological resources, has little chance to compete in unit prices with large-scale producers. This has been one of the causes of abandonment of land use and, consequently, represents a growing danger of desertification of large rural areas.
There is, therefore, a growing need to produce quality meat which, in addition to its organoletic qualities, also give health and safety guarantees. In Portugal, the production of bovine local breeds can play these functions, and this production could be increased with incentives. Regarding the importance of marketing definition based on the unique characteristics of the breed, seeking to add the most value to the product, it’s expected that Jarmelo meat consumption associated with other regional attraction factors, including other endogenous products and tourist activities, could be enhanced. In this sense, an approach that allows incrementing product value justifies efforts for the development of new processed products with added value. In this sense is proposed the evaluation of meat maturation technologies which are widely used in several countries but are not usually used in Portugal. The meat maturation process modifies its sensorial features boosting the development of components that contribute to the improvement of the flavour and tenderness of the meat. The advantages of these systems in the increase of biodiversity, improvement of animal welfare, providing good working conditions and to obtain a quality product are essential for profitable agriculture, ensuring the sustainability of production systems.
We can assume that local breeds are strategic reserves of bovine production in Portugal. The replacement of these breeds could result in the loss of preferred products and services by the local population, in addition to the negative impact on genetics and biodiversity. Thus, the differentiation and the high quality of the products seem to be the only alternative to stimulate rural activity of the least-favoured regions and the creation of added value in the region, promoting your sustainable development.
With the creation of this project, it is intended to achieve the territorial valorization through the promotion of beef Jarmelista race, assuming the factor of biodiversity, resulting from its production, as a differentiating and enhancer factor. In this sense, we will achieve the following results:
- Promotion of the preservation of the genetic identity with an increase of 20% in about 10 years following the implementation of the project;
- Characterisation of biochemical profile/rheological and nutrition of the Jarmelo meat;
- Evidence of the importance of biodiversity and sustainability of the territory of the beef Jarmelo productions;
- Development of products resulting from the processing, transformation, and conservation of Jarmelo meat;
- Characterization of the specifications of “Jarmelo meat” in order to insert the quality standards;
- Actions of results dissemination focused on the Jarmelo meat as endogenous product enhancer of the economic activity and region recognition
- Final consumers communication actions with great impact;
- Promotion and notoriety of the meat products of Jarmelo as quality and sustainable food through different ways, namely digital and direct marketing and written communication.
Results so far/first lessons
So far we were able to:
- Characterize the effective (number of animals), farmers, production and nutrition management model, through a survey developed to be applied to farmers
- We analysed the average number of animals to slaughter so it is possible to define the sample for the physical-chemical analysis and for the development of maturation process model
- Created the image of the project and its marketing and communication positioning
Who will benefit:
- Producers – in the sense they will have strategic and management support in the production of cattle breed Jarmelista, the recognition of “Jarmelo meat” and its advantages of referencing of differentiation, quality, and sustainability
- Commercial intermediaries and other economic operators in the area of provision of services – to the extent that they will enjoy the market notoriety of the Jarmelo meat and the territorial valorisation that this recognition will provide them to promote tourist products and services that can be associated
- Final consumers – for the safety of food quality that the recognition of the origin of the Jarmelo meat and for the territory sustainable reference motivating them for the enjoyment of other products of interest associated with the territory.
Other associations for the preservation of native bovine breeds – bearing in mind that the present project can be understood as a case study of a breed indigenous preservation through the use of specific methodologies and that its results will be widely disseminated, other associations may also benefit.