The Associació de Foners i Pastissers de Baleares (Association of Foners and Pastissers of the Balearic Islands) claims their products as part of their cultural identity and calls for the recruitment of new workers

The new board of the Associació de Foners i Pastissers de Baleares, chaired by Miquel Àngel Torres, has asked the government for direct aid for the companies and artisans who run the islands’ bakeries and pastry shops. The association considers this support “essential” to guarantee a generational transition: “We are facing a very delicate situation in terms of our companies’ ability to continue producing in a traditional, artisanal way, which is what ultimately certifies the authenticity and the way we make certain traditional products on our islands,” Torrens said.

The entity has stressed the importance of protecting its activity from the Administration: “Our work and our elaborations are part of our identity as a people. All celebrations and festivities in one way or another involve gastronomy. Rubiols, panades, ensaïmades, crespells, coques d’anís i patata, coques de verdura and so on and so forth. These products are the result of artisan work that we must preserve and promote as much as possible and not leave all our knowledge and history in the hands of mass-produced frozen products”.

The shortage of labour in the sector is also of concern to the organisation, which warns that “most jobs are filled by workers from outside” and “only 25% of the students” who are trained here, at the Josep Sureda i Blanes Institute, end up working in this activity.

The controversies stirred up at the airport

The Associació de Foners i Pastissers de Baleares believes that Mallorcan ensaïmada ‘has been trivialised by industrial machines located at the airport, detracting from its quality and authenticity, and clearly damaging the image of Mallorca’. In his opinion, “AENA should facilitate and promote the artisanal and certified production of a territory, not compete with products that do not follow the canons and from a position of strength and dominance. We believe that Mallorca and the Balearic Islands do not deserve this treatment for all that they contribute to national tourism”.

The sector also calls for respect for the ways of doing things and the raw material, and has given as an example the “demonised” saïm because of its calorie content: “Currents of opinion are created that, without knowing anything about the sector or our history, propose alternatives that are simply nonsense”, they have denounced.