On April 28th, 29th and 30th, the third edition of ERA will take place in the town of Aragon Villanúa, the Aragon show dedicated exclusively to the field of organic agriculture and livestock.
Aragón is one of the regions with the highest number of surface techniques and operators working with certified organic bodies. Despite this level, marketing of these products is very low because of the difficulty in finding markets and farmers in most cases unaware of the existence of specialized service companies that can solve many of the problems of handling operation and distribution of products. We further believe that this problem is widespread throughout the country.
While it is clear, and the figures tell us that the area devoted to organic production is on an unstoppable progression multiplied year after year. With events such as fairs should be achieved on one hand the interrelationship of all individuals, companies and organizations involved in the production, handling and distribution of organic food, and on the other hand the approach of these production systems and consumer to products, which will ultimately call promotion.
Thus arose the idea that created the show ERA which has a place for the most representative companies in the sector of organic production in Spain, for the producers of the country may come into contact with them, thereby advancing towards the technical development of their farms and the commercial development of its products.
Response to a growing form of tourism related products such as organic agriculture, which in Europe is becoming very important in a movement with a very wide range and a great host, there are companies that have linked farms to offer organic products and farms, where the tourist enjoys the fullness of the field and the most healthy and wholesome products obtained through organic production techniques.
The event will take place in the municipality of Villanúa, Jacetania region of the Province of Huesca, Aragon, during the days 28th, 29th and 30th. Parallel to the fair, events will be associated with organic production systems: Seminars on organic agriculture and livestock, which will bring together key specialists in the sector in Spain with the participation of farms with experience in this field; Table discussion on the sustainable tourism in agro-ecology, which will bring together organizations and individuals with experience in the sector. On 28th and 29th: sensitization workshops, exhibitions of production techniques.
Why a Green Fair in the Pyrenees?
Mountain areas are areas where human activity has coexisted in an integrated manner and stabilizing natural systems, mainly because these systems depended on their livelihood. These are integrated and balanced, however, have clear conditions for limiting the development of intensified agriculture, highly mechanized and industrialized, as has been the trend in the development of agro-pastoral areas.
The alternative for these places is a production system where the integration of human activity with the environment remains fundamental, and where prime the food of high quality, as opposed to high levels of production. This is achieved through the transformation of production systems from conventional to organic production systems.
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Pyrenean areas collected some very unique characteristics suitable for the integration of their production systems with the environment and adapt to low organic denomination. This is linked to areas that support an ever-growing influx of tourism, allows the development of strategies for supply and sale of products of the production area, increasing its value with the guarantees of the organic product.
Purpose of the Fair
All objectives of the fair will be directed primarily to the promotion of organic products and companies specializing in the sector.
Another objective of the fair is that producers and farmers are aware of key companies involved in the sector, companies of inputs, machinery, marketing, certification … so they have a reference for the development of its activity in organic food production or in the event that raised the conversion of conventional farms to organic.
An objective of the fair is also spreading the alternatives for the rural environment associated with organic products as are offered in agro ecological production farms (agroturismo organic).
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The backbone of the territories is a key objective of the event, so that all the entities involved are known to each other and can establish relations of production, marketing and selling taking advantage of the territories.
Establishing strategies and business relationships in the industry, which obviously is the ultimate goal of any fair. And it is also very important to promote this type of production strategies and products for the consumer.
ERA aims to be the most important event at the national level as regards the sector of organic agriculture. Last year with 60 exhibitors, this year to reach 70, this would be the first event in Spain in concentrating so many businesses.
Organic agriculture in Spain
The surface of organic production has increased in the last decade multiplying by 200 the existing surface in the early nineties, reaching the figure of 733,182 hectares, making Spain one of the leading European producers of organic food. Already there are 17,688 farmers who practice organic agriculture and animal husbandry and 1635 manufacturing firms. The organic market last year reached a value of 235.65 million euros, this is not an isolated incident and that this figure increases year after year. (Data source: Statistics 2003 and 2004, Organic Agriculture, Spain, the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food).
Production System of Organic Agriculture:
The terms 'organic', or 'biological', define a system using agricultural and conservative techniques / or improved soil ecosystem to obtain maximum food sensory and nutritional quality, while respecting the environment without the use of synthetic chemical products.
Organic fertility and soil activity are maintained through the application of organic materials, cultivation of legumes, green manures and plant rooting depth, using a proper multi-year rotation program.
The health of crops and control pests, diseases and weeds is achieved through the balance of nutrients in the soil, crop rotation to obtain or establish in the vicinity of the plots varied in an ecosystem that natural enemies are balanced.
To obtain healthy and nutritious foods, organic agriculture use traditional techniques, and the most modern technology in the knowledge of life cycles of pests, proper tools and machinery.
Farming production is regulated by European legislation (EEC Regulation 2092/91), which sets production standards, labeling and monitoring system for these products.
Benefits of organic products
The quality of these foods is related to their ability to provide certain nutrients that promote health and prevent the emergence of diseases caused by lack or excess of any food. In
crops, especially in winter, the nitrate content of some food becomes almost three times lower in organic products.
Research on the contribution of organic food to health indicates that these products usually contain a better balance of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and amino acids, in addition to its organoleptic and textural characteristics.
Consuming organic products is not just an option that promotes our health, but a way for environmental conservation.
In the first edition of the ERA, there was the participation of 54 exhibitors representing more than 60 companies and over 120 producers, to be augmented in the second edition to 60 exhibitors, representing thus a larger number of companies and producers. Participation as an exhibitor at the fair will focus on those businesses involved in production, marketing and selling certified organic products with a designation, as well as companies engaged in agricultural services specialist in the field of organic agriculture and livestock.
So ERA is intended to:
- Farms and organic farmers.
- Manufacturers of organic food.
- Organic food distributors.
- Catering services and tourism-related.
- Business providing inputs for organic agriculture and animal husbandry (nutrition amendments, extracts prepared, feed, pharmacology).
- Companies developing marketing of organic products for health and human or animal health. Business advising on organic production and marketing.
- Business sales of organic products (facilities).
- Business machine and application specific systems for organic agriculture or to the efficient use of resources.
- Organizations committed to the dissemination and promotion of organic agriculture and livestock.
- Inspection and certification of body for organic production.
- Organizations or businesses specialized publications concerning agriculture and organic production.
- Consumer cooperatives and associations of organic products.
This event allows the sale of goods with prior notice, within what we call the Green, which is part of the show which is devoted to the sale of organic food products to visitors. In this third edition, there will be participating as exhibitors free for the first fifty exhibitors who register.
More than a fair
Developed in parallel a series of events related to training (specialized seminars on organic agriculture and livestock), awareness and promotion organic products and production techniques (such as workshops and exhibitions). The leading specialists in the country come together in the days of ERA to ensure that it is not only a reference sample of companies, but it is also a confluence of knowledge and in gathering of professionals. The conference will take place at the Town Hall, located at the C / No 8 Schools Villanúa. The technical seminars will be valid for 2 credits of 'free choice' by the University of Zaragoza.
Organization and coordination of ERA
The fair is an event developed by the counties and High Altoaragonesas of Jacetania Gallego, hosted by the City in fact, where the first edition in October 2004, hosted by the City of Panticosa, where the second edition in June 2005 and this year by the City of Villanúa where the third edition is hold.
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