THE Balearic government and the Association of Medium-Sized Supermarkets (Asuibal), which represents 403 supermarkets, have signed an agreement to promote local produce. The supermarkets belonging to the Hipercentro, Caprabo, Mercadona, Spar, Grupo IFA and Eroski chains account for 43 per cent of the food sector outlets in the Balearics. Under the agreement a joint committee will be set up to study, agree and establish measures to promote the consumption of food and drink products made in the Balearics. In signing the agreement, Balearic leader Jaume Matas said that the supermarkets “are in the best position in the market to reach the final consumer,” adding that “if we do not defend ourselves, nobody will. We must defend our farmers.” However, he did not go into details about the steps which will be taken to ensure that the measures adopted will be binding. At the moment, Balearic products represent only four per cent of the supermarkets' sales.