STAFF REPORTER THE credit crunch has failed to eat into the success of Majorca's quality food products with figures showing that sales figures for 2008 were 1.7 percent up on the previous year.

The regional Minister for Agriculture, Merce Amer reported yesterday that the food sector generated income of 66.6 million euros last year. Sales of Majorcan olive oil were up by 18.3 percent as were those of regional wine, by 3.4 percent.

Amer said however that a 2 percent reduction in wine production had eaten into the profit margin, but added that 86.3 percent of Majorcan wine labelled with an original trademark (D.O.) was sold in the Balearics, an upturn of 5.3 percent on the previous year.

Another product which enjoyed even greater success last year than in 2007 (3.1 percent up), was the traditional Majorcan sausage, the sobrassada. The regional government body which controls the manufacture and sale of the sobrassada reported last month that 3 of every 4 are consumed on the mainland of Spain, being particularly popular in Valencia and Catalonia. In the Balearics meanwhile, people ate less of it last year than they did in 2007.

The sobrassada is slowly being accepted in EU countries other than Spain but figures show that barely 1'000 were sold outside Spain.
Not all the results of quality product sales were positive, however. Sales of Majorcan ensaimada (choux pastry) were down 26.6 percent and those for Minorcan cheese down 9.2 percent.

Amer expressed concern over these negative results, particularly with regard to the cheese which she claimed was in part due to the lower number of visitors going to Minorca.

Sales of spirits, Amer said were also down by 0.7 percent. In spite of the fact that the overall results were positive for 2008, the Minister warned that so far this year, sales are showing signs of decline.