Agri Business Conference: About the first panel

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Growing interest in forestry and more.

In partnership with Tourism de Algarve and Tourism of Portugal in Ireland, the IPBN organized a Agro-industrial conference intended to focus on organic farming, forestry and water supply in the Algarve, local products and producers, and what local businesses and communities are doing to foster the growth and sustainability of the sector. To this end, we have organized a spectacular first panel which will delve into these topics and share their ideas with the participants.

The first Agri Business Review panel will be moderated by IPBN member Brian Shanahan and will feature experts in the field including André Menitra Matos of Vila Vita Parc, Nuno Neto of Navigator Company, John Paul Prior from Farmony and Filipa Almeida from Herdade dos Grous. Topics that will be discussed range from the impacts of water shortages to environmental issues that influence business, agriculture and forestry technology, the tourist experience in the Algarve, promoting the local environment and community through of sustainable development efforts.

Executive Quality Director of VILA VITA Parc Resort & Spa, André Menitra Matos, the mastermind behind setting up its desalination system in 2015 as a way to overcome drought and water shortages by using treated seawater for irrigation. But that wasn’t the end. In an interview last year with Lusa reprinted in The Portugal Resident, André said: “We realized that the amount of water from our desalination system would also allow us to supply our lakes. Now we also use it to supply seven swimming pools. The resort’s desalination plant is located under a tennis court and is imperceptible to guests. It provides approximately 70% of Vila Vita Parc’s water needs. Only around 30% of the resort’s water comes from the water distribution system to supply the bedrooms, bathrooms and restaurants, which is a huge feat.

Nuno Neto is the director of Património e Produção Florestal de la Company Browser, which describes itself as a company that advocates industrial, social and environmental sustainability as a business model. According to their website, they are “committed to creating sustainable value for our shareholders and for society as a whole, leaving future generations a better planet through natural, recyclable and biodegradable sustainable products and solutions that contribute to the carbon sequestration, oxygen production, biodiversity protection, soil formation and the fight against climate change… we [also] promote social inclusion and prosperity, and the rural world, where we are drivers of territorial cohesion.”

IPBN Member and Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Farmonia Europe, Jean-Paul Prieur aims to build a network of interconnected and controlled environments through the establishment of vertical farms around the world. Farmony, to quote John in the following video, “enables growers to achieve unprecedented results in farming operations, producing hyper-local, pesticide-free produce year-round.” The result is happier plants, happier farmers, and an incredibly fresh, delicious yield that could be just a doorstep away or just around the corner.

Filipa Almeida is an agricultural technician and has worked at Herdade dos Grous for thirteen years. The vineyard was described by PortugalVineyards.com as “an exquisite country estate that offers tranquility and unspoiled nature on over 1700 acres. This property offers splendid colorful gardens, 240 hectares of artificial lake, vineyards and olive trees. Its red wine was awarded the title of “Best Red Wine of Alentejo 2004”. Filipa participated in the discussions of Bioinformatics challenges in wine and grapevine, covering important topics such as the advanced data management made by the wine and winery sector, their objectives and the requirements to achieve this management.

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