PERE Sampol, deputy leader of the Balearics and minister of finance, commerce and industry, and Mateu Morro, the agriculture minister, yesterday opened the fourth Agroalimentaria Fair at the Fires i Congressos premises in the Polígono de Levante. The fair showcases Balearic products and this year more than 125 firms are represented. Miquel Gual, the co-ordinator of the Producte Balear label, said that the fair was dedicated exclusively to Balearic products this year, and he also praised the work of Pimem, the small and medium sized enterprise organisation, which has organised a meeting of young chefs, as well as a competition to find the best young chef in the Balearics. The Producte Balear label identifies food, crafts or industrial products of the Balearics and has been granted to 994 foodstuffs. The label was granted to more than 300 food products last year. Morro said that strolling through the fair was like “visiting our history and our way of life.” Gual said that in 2001, the food sector generated a volume of trade of 740 million euros, and provided work for nearly 5'700 persons, making it “strategic for the soci-economic development of the Islands, as a large part of primary activity depends on it.” There are three denominación de origen labels in the Balearics: Binissalem and Pla i Llevant for wines, and Formatge de Menorca for cheese.
A fourth will be presented during the fair: Oli de Mallorca for locally produced olive oil. Two new products will also be launched, fresh fish caught locally, Peix que Bota and the liqueur Herbes de Mallorca. Admission to the fair is four euros and today's events include honey tasting at 12.30pm, and the presentation and tasting of Herbes de Mallorca at 6pm. The Oli de Mallorca label will be presented tomorrow at 12.30pm, and there will be a cheese tasting at 7pm on Sunday. The fair is open until Sunday and can be visited from 11am to 9pm.