Apple with sobrasada from Mallorca, rosemary and spices; grilled llampuga with potato bar and Mahón cheese… The consumption of local and fresh products that reverts to the local economy is part of the consumers’ personal agenda.

Text: Raúl Beltrán. Palma.

These recipes are proposed on the Institute of Agrifood Quality of the Balearic Islands (IQUA) website, which since 2001 ensures the promotion and agri-food quality on the islands. This 2020 has been a particularly fruitful year for the recognition of Balearic products, with the creation of the Denomination of Origin (DO) Mallorca paprika, the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) of Eivissa oil and the inscription of Menorca oil, the cake from Menorca and the Des Trenc fleur de sel in the traditional foods catalog.

Productos tradicionales de las Islas Baleares

Traditional food from Balearic Islands. Photo: Conselleria de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación.

Miquel Àngel Frau, head of IQUA, argues that “in recent years, society has begun to become aware of the importance of the primary sector, which plays a very important role in the conservation of the environment and the landscape. On the other hand, local products have freshness as a differential characteristic. They reach the consumer in a few hours, maximum in a few days. This allows the farmer to collect the product at its best maturation moment and the consumer to enjoy all its characteristics”.

Unfair competition

How to recognize this type of food among the vast existing offer? Frau clarifies that there are three different groups: DO and PGI, of public protection and strongly linked to the geographical environment. Guarantee marks, whose owners are producer groups. And traditional foods, a catalog that includes “those products that the sector proposes due to its reputation linked to the Balearic Islands”.

Miquel Angel Frau

This list “intends to record the characteristics and food-making processes that have been made on the islands for decades”. All the indications serve to protect against unfair competition: “They prevent the inappropriate use of product names that stand out for their high reputation on the islands”, says Frau.

Willing to pay more

The agricultural sector has shown interest in distinguishing and protecting local products such as the orange from Sóller, the honey from Mallorca and the Des Trenc fleur de sel through DO or PGI, Frau advances. But once all the procedures are passed, what does it mean for these products? “Regarding economic purposes, the statistics indicate that DO and PGI provide an added value of between 15% and 100%. On the other hand, studies reveal that consumers are willing to pay a bit more for them”.

Miquel Àngel Frau invites the consumption of Balearic products “because they are high quality and they contribute to the conservation of the environment that we all enjoy”.

Traditional food from the Balearic Islands

alimentos tradicionales de baleares