CTT’s decision to launch a stamp issue dedicated to Portuguese Fruits is a tribute to Portugal, a small country that boasts a wide range of fruits, of which we can and should be justly proud. Curiously, any person seeking information on Correios de Portugal (Portuguese Postal Operator) will invariably find out that CTT is “a company whose history tells the history of its country.” It appears that the Port Wine Region was the first geographic region to be regulated in Portugal, in 1756, by order of the Marquis of Pombal. The regulations established at the time aimed to “protect” a product boasting unique features, only achievable in the specific region in question.
The European Union has implemented a series of schemes whose purpose is to recognise quality agricultural products and foodstuffs, namely the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). These schemes effectively represent powerful agreements between producers and consumers, based on trust, as they ensure that the products in question are authentic and that their unique features are effectively preserved: flavour, odour, colour, texture, know-how, history, culture, etc. Nevertheless, it is not enough for a product to have been recognised by the European Commission. It is essential for producers to achieve a relevant position in the market and, first and foremost, to take steps in order to ensure that their products are certified. A lot still needs to be done in this area, namely regarding the information provided to final consumers.
It is precisely regarding this matter that the Portuguese Fruits stamp issue can play an extremely important role, by providing relevant information on current subjects: agricultural products and foodstuffs – concerning their many aspects – and geographical areas – namely regarding their specific characteristics. Although PDO and PGI fruits are predominantly featured, other fruits perceived as unique by final consumers have not been disregarded. This initiative also aims to encourage the authorities involved to review and assess the protection schemes currently in place, as well as their actual relevance and impact on Portuguese agriculture...
Since CTT operates across the entire Portuguese territory, I propose that we draw inspiration from the Tour of Portugal, which, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting ways to discover Portugal and show it to the world.
The Portuguese Fruits stamp issue is no more than a Grand Tour of Portugal, not on a bicycle but through the colours, aromas, textures and flavours of the many fruits grown across the country.
Picture yourself hopping onto a car (as a bicycle would not a suitable means of transport...), starting this tour in Trás-os-Montes (Trás-os-Montes chestnuts), following southwards to the Beiras (Cova da Beira cherries), turning right towards the West Coast (Western Rocha pears), and finally going to the beach in the Algarve (Algarve citrus fruits). Then image yourself boarding an airplane at the Faro airport, flying to Madeira (Madeiran bananas), and ending your journey in the Azores Islands (Azorean pineapples).
Also consider that every time anyone sends a letter or a parcel using Portuguese Fruits stamps, particularly abroad (despite our frenzied habit of using e-mail), they will be contributing to our economy, humbly and patriotically, by promoting our fruits, many of which are already widely consumed across the globe...
This is just the first stage in a process which we may continue to pursue as early as next year. We intend to promote Portugal and its riches, often unknown. Our fruits are indeed invaluable, even more so than our territory, our agriculture, our diverse environment, our varied landscapes and our many tourist attractions, for a very simple reason: they are good for our health...
So come discover Portuguese Fruits and eat them! One piece of fruit a day keeps the doctor away
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 16.09.2015
Designer: Natali Nascimento, TerraProjectos
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 30.6 x 40mm
Values: €0.45, €0.55, €0.72, €0.80