Navarra’s agri-food sector demonstrates the regional economic vitality

Over 180 guests attended this Friday the III DNavarra Food Awards Ceremony. The event was hold at El Toro hotel and counted on the presence of Regional Minister for Rural Development and Environment, José María Aierdi, Regional Minister for University, Innovation and Digital Transformation, Juan Cruz Cigudosa, former President of the Navarrese Government, Miguel Sanz, Secretary General of Navarra’s Business Confederation, Carlos Fernández Valdivielso, Member of Parliament, Alberto Catalán (UPN) and the Senator Javier Remírez (PSN). The awards are at the initiative of local print media Diario de Navarra and weresponsored by CaixaBank, E.Leclerc and CocaCola, in collaboration with the Association of Agro-food Industries of Navarre, La Rioja and Aragon (Alinar) and the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) of Navarra.

It was precisely Agri-food director at ICEX, María Naranjo, who explained to the audience the challenges the sector faces, both in Navarra and in the rest of Spain. After a brief speech by Alfonso Bañón, one of the directors of Grupo La Información (publisher of Diario de Navarra), highlighting Diario de Navarra’s commitment to the agri-food sector and emphasising that all the award-winning companies had families as a “backbone element”, Naranjo explained that the European Union’s new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) posed a major challenge in terms of raising safety and quality requirements for the sector.

The Agri-food director at ICEX has also warned of the “rise of protectionism” in some countries, as has recently happened in Mexico and its new regulation for the meat sector or with the entry into force of stricter controls for exporting to the United Kingdom as of 1 January next year. To this she added the demands for “immediacy and sustainability” coming from consumers themselves and the negative effects of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which have contributed to the awareness of the risk of depending on long logistical chains and the need to shorten them. “The future of the sector must be based on excellence and the construction of great brands with international outreach. We have many good examples of this here today. The food industry in Spain has absolutely marvellous and excellent products that can compete in the best markets”, she told the attendees before stressing the importance of investing in innovation as a formula for guaranteeing future survival.

Six companies that are deeply rooted in their land and with their people

This Friday, six agri-food companies received the Alimentos DNavarra awards. In the category of ‘processed vegetable products’, the winner was Conservas Rosara (Andosilla) and the award was handed out to Saúl Jiménez by Diego Galilea, Managing Director of Alinar. Intermeat (Mutilva) has been selected in the category of ‘elaborated products’ and it was its Managing Director, Ignacio Biurrun, who was given the prize by Elena Buldón, General Manager of E.Leclerc. In ‘meat industries’ the prize for Cárnicas Galar (Tafalla) has been awarded to Isidro Galar by Ana Laguna, Vice-president of the Navarrese Academy of Gastronomy. Antonio Ziganda has received on behalf of Postres Ultzama (Ultzama) the award in the category ‘desserts and dairy products’, which has been given by Fernando Anel, from Coca-Cola. In the ‘wines and spirits’ category, the award went to Señorío de Sarría (Puente la Reina), handed out to its Managing Director Fernando Zaratiegui by Alicia Nicolás, from Diario de Navarra. Finally, the ‘international’ award went to Nekeas (Añorbe). It was handed out to Francisco San Martín by María Naranjo y Alfonso Bañón.

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