Autor: Mariana Lucas Furtado
The Taste Azores Fair takes place in the Colombo Shopping Center, in Lisbon. The event is already in its third edition, and has not happened since 2019, due to the pandemic.
The Regional Secretary of Finance, Duarte Freitas, toured all the stands. In a statement to Açoriano Oriental, Freitas mentioned the importance of the exhibition and dissemination of the Azores Brand.
In addition to Colombo, "we were also at Norte Shopping, for the first time, and it went very well. The expectations are excellent now", he added.
According to the secretary, "the administration of Colombo stated that to promote the Azores brand is an honor, considering the quality and specificity of its products".
The Taste Azores Fair was held for the last time in 2019, and, according to Duarte Freitas, there were positive changes compared to the previous edition: "The feedback we get from producers and sellers is excellent. As for this year's edition, the area is identical and the producers, for the most part, had already been here. But their perspective, the type of products, the type of packaging and the marketing component have improved substantially. There was a clear upgrade in the relationship between the products and producers of the Azores Brand and the market", Freitas stressed.
"In this sense, the Regional Government congratulates the capacity of the economic fabric in the Azores, not only in terms of resisting the pandemic, but also of reinventing itself by responding to the new challenges posed by consumers, distribution and even brands. The pandemic brought a lot of bad things, but it also brought some challenges that eventually became positive."
"Here, one can see a group of entrepreneurs who have been able to adapt, reinvent themselves, and reintroduce themselves to consumers, taking the time for creativity, and taking advantage of the new digital formulas to reach consumers," the secretary said.
Freitas also stated that the brand is going through a "process of strategic reform".
"We have launched an international tender, which is being processed. What we are trying to build is a path of communication, so that the Azores Brand can truly represent the Azores. The brand must contain the specificities that characterize the Azores - nature, tranquility, capacity for inspiration - in its various products and services," explained Duarte Freitas.
"This is how the brand can be identified, as well as by the quality of its products. But, in addition to these specificities - nature, uniqueness, sustainability -, there is another one: our productions are small. Therefore, dimension, in some respects, is a handicap; in other respects, you can also design for premium markets, which is what most of our products want to achieve."
Regarding prospects for the fair, according to Duarte Freitas, "they are the best".
"The expectation is enormous: there are new products, new approaches, and also consumers themselves are eager to know more products from the Azores. Therefore, we expect to continue to build this path of affirmation of the Azores Brand, leveraged in a brand strategy that reflects what really marks the Azores: uniqueness, tranquility, sustainability, nature. That is what our products represent", concludes.
The Taste Azores Fair ended on October 8th. In addition to the stalls with regional products, there were several show cooking sessions and a performance by TUCA – Tuna Universitária Corsários dos Açores.
This year, the Fair hosted 19 Azorean companies and two institutional stalls, one for the Azores brand, and one for CADA – Center for Handicrafts and Design of the Azores. Among the companies represented were Boa Fruta, Fat Tuna, Gorreana, Lactaçores, Leite Montanha, Magnificat, Mercado das Ilhas, Milhafre, MPD – Bensaúde Distribuição, Picos de Aventura, Queijo Vaquinha, Quintal dos Açores, Restaurante Espaço Açores, Rosa Quental, Salsicharia Ideal, Sociedade Conserveira Açoriana, Sessenta – Spirulina Açores, Vega and Yoçor.