agriculture

Scabies infection threatens the last population of Iberian wild goats in Catalonia

February 13, 2015 11:17 PM | ACN / Nisse Laiho-Murdoch

Hunters and park rangers are currently working together to try to contain the outbreak of Scabies in the wild population of Iberian ibex in the mountainous area of Terra Alta, in the south of Catalonia. This is the last surviving population of this local species throughout Catalonia, after it became extinct from the Pyrenees. Negotiations between the two parties began late last month after the Catalan Government's Department of Agriculture granted permission to hunt and kill the infected specimen before the disease spreads. A previous case in 1987, which eliminated 97% of the goat population, has meant that the Department of Agriculture is not taking this news lightly and want a swift yet controlled extermination of the diseased animals in order to prevent the extinction of the species in Catalonia.

Catalan economy grew by 1.2% in 2014, the best year since 2007

February 5, 2015 08:52 PM | ACN

Another positive figure has emerged to confirm the economic recovery after years of crisis. Catalonia’s GDP grew by 1.2% over the course of 2014, which are the best figures since 2007, before the financial crisis, according to early data released on Thursday by the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat) and the Catalan Finance Ministry. The figure is higher than the 0.9% economic growth foreseen in the Catalan Government’s budget for 2014 (approved in late 2013) but is lower than an early forecast made in March, when a 1.5% growth was predicted. Besides this growth in the Catalan economy, in Spain as a whole, the economy grew by 1.4%, according to early data released by the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE). Furthermore, the Catalan economy grew by 0.4% in the last quarter of 2014 compared to September figures and by 1.5% in annual terms. In the first, second, and third quarters it grew by 0.5%, 0.4%, and 0.3% respectively (in quarterly terms).

Catalonia posted a 1.5% annual GDP growth rate in September

December 19, 2014 08:52 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy grew by 1.5% at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2014 in annual terms, while at the end of June it was growing at a rate of 1.3%. Catalonia has therefore accumulated 4 consecutive quarters with positive annual economic growth. However, although the economic recovery has slowed somewhat, growth remains positive, as other figures show. In quarterly terms, Catalonia’s GDP increased by 0.3% between July and September, which represents a drop from the 0.5% growth registered for April – June and also for January – March. Meanwhile, in Spain as a whole, the economy grew by 1.6% in annual terms at the end of September and by 0.5% in quarterly terms. The European Union is posting the same growth rates as Catalonia: 1.5% in annual terms and 0.3% in quarterly figures.

Supermarkets and charities work together against food waste in Catalonia

November 29, 2014 01:50 PM | Nell English

Catalan supermarkets and charities are working together to fight against the 1.18 million tonnes of food wasted each year in Catalonia. With 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted each year worldwide, the issue of excess food is becoming increasingly important. Of the global figures, 89 million tonnes come from the EU, while 8 million come from Spain, making it the 7th highest in Europe. Of Catalonia’s share, the equivalent of 34.9 kg is wasted per person on an annual basis. One approach in reducing this figure is being undertaken by supermarkets, which are responsible for 16% of total excess food in Catalonia, equivalent to 41,600 tonnes of food a year. Approaches vary from locking bins to reducing prices, and relabeling food products. Moreover, Catalan charity Banc dels Aliments has been active in the campaign against wasting food, running a six-year long annual event of redistributing donated food. 

Catalan economy shows 0.5% growth in the third quarter, accumulating a year and a half of growth

November 6, 2014 09:12 PM | ACN

According to official data released by the Catalan Ministry of Economics and the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Idescat), the Catalan economy grew by 0.5% between and July and September 2014, the latest in six consecutive quarters of positive economic growth. A signal that the recession is far left behind. The whole of Spain also grew by 0.5% in the same 3 months. In annual terms, Catalonia's GDP has grown by 1.8%, mainly thanks to the boost by the services sector,which has demonstrated an annual growth of 2.4%. The sector of industry grew by 1.5% and those of construction and agriculture decreased by -2.6% and -1% respectively. Idescat’s previous predictions for 2014 quarters has been reviewed: the 0.5% initially estimated for the first quarter increased to 0.7%, while the 0.6% for the second quarter dropped to 0.5%.

Catalonia’s GDP grows 0.4% between January and March, accumulating 4 positive quarters

May 12, 2014 09:55 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy grew by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2014, which means that GDP has been increasing for the last 4 consecutive quarters, leaving recession far behind, according to an early estimate published on Monday by Catalonia’s Statistics Institute (Idescat) and the Catalan Ministry of the Economy and Knowledge. Furthermore, between March 2013 and March 2014, Catalonia’s economy grew by 0.8%. In the second quarter of 2013 it registered a quarterly growth of 0.1%; in the third it also posted a 0.1% quarterly growth; between October and December, it increased by 0,2%; and now, between January and March, it grew by 0.4%. The services sector has been the main engine behind this positive trend; in the last 12 months it grew by 1.4%.

Alimentaria trade fair congregates 140,000 visitors and 3,800 agri-food companies in Barcelona

April 1, 2014 08:37 PM | ACN

More than 300 innovations from the agri-food industry are presented between the 31st of March and the 3rd of April in Alimentaria, one of the main trade fairs for this sector in Europe. The 20th edition of this event, which takes place in the Catalan capital every two years, focuses on innovation and internationalisation. In fact, 40,000 visitors, 30% of the total 140,000 visitors, are foreigners. In addition, as explained by the Director General of Alimentaria, Antoni Valls, this year the organisers have managed to assemble 600 of the world's main international buyers, which is double the number at the previous fair in 2012. These top buyers have already arrived for 8,000 pre-scheduled business meetings with the 3,800 exhibiting companies at the fair, which occupies 94,500 square metres of Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via venue.

Catalan Government to take Ebro Hydrologic Plan to Brussels as it endangers the Delta’s survival

March 4, 2014 09:45 PM | ACN

The Catalan Executive announced it will take the Spanish Government’s Hydrologic Plan for the Ebro River (Plan Hidrológico del Ebro) to the European Commission, as it will damage the river’s delta, which is a unique environment and one of UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserves. The European Commission replied that it will need “weeks or even months” to analyse the plan, which only guarantees that around 30% of the river’s volume of flow will reach the delta. According to scientific studies, such a volume of water is absolutely insufficient to preserve the Delta, which is a reserve for wildlife as well as a tourist and agricultural centre. The project foresees allocating almost 11,000 cubic hectometres of water per year upstream to irrigate 1.41 million hectares of fields, a third of them newly-created. Brussels is still waiting for Madrid’s documentation but the Commission warned that it will look at the plan “from all the possible angles”.

Catalan economy speeds up its recovery with a 0.4% growth in the fourth quarter of 2013

February 7, 2014 04:23 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy has continued on a positive trend during the fourth quarter of 2013, also speeding up the recovery process. According to data released on Friday by the Catalan Ministry of Economy and Knowledge alongside the Catalan Institute of Statistics (Idescat), Catalonia’s GDP grew by 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2013, while the Spanish average stood at 0.3%. In the whole year, the Catalan GDP has decreased by 0.6 %, while in 2012 it dropped by 1.3%. The continued good results in exports due to the increasing external demand and the improvement of the domestic demand have driven the economy forward.

Priorat wine appellation expects an excellent harvest due to a very hot and dry August

August 6, 2013 02:34 PM | ACN / Julian Scully

The President of the Regulatory Council of Priorat wine appellation, located in south-western Catalonia, is anticipating an excellent grape harvest this summer as there have been no major setbacks that have affected the evolution of the vineyards. The hot and dry weather during August has led to a process of maturation that is very favourable in terms of colour and there is a good balance between alcohol and acidity. The President of the Regulatory Council of the word-famous wine region, Toni Alcover, expects there to be a high quality harvest with a quantity in excess of 5.5 million kilograms of grapes.

UNESCO adds the Ebro Delta, in Southern Catalonia, to its Biosphere Reserve network

May 28, 2013 10:25 PM | CNA

Terres de l’Ebre, which encompasses the delta and the catchment area of the Ebro River’s lowest stretch, displays a unique relationship between nature and traditional human activities. It has lovely landscapes, with hills, cliffs, fields and picturesque villages on both sides of the river, as well as coastal ecosystems, where the delta offers amazing and delicate environments. The new Man and the Biosphere reserve covers 367,729 hectares and has 190,000 inhabitants. The cultivation of rice, citrus fruits and olives, livestock breeding as well as aquaculture and fishing are the main human activities, “respecting biological conservation and landscape values”, stated UNESCO. The Montseny hills and forest are the other Catalan biosphere reserve.

Valls welcomes the annual Catalan gastronomic tradition of the ‘Calçotada’

January 30, 2012 07:47 PM | CNA / Sara Gómez

Among the many culinary traditions Catalonia can boast about, the ‘Calçotada’ is one of the most beloved among Catalans. People from all over the territory and in particular those from southern towns such as Valls, eat ‘calçots’ (similar to green onions) with family and friends in special get togethers for the next three months. On January 29th the season kicked off with a festival that brought together 30,000 people.

Catalan economy grew by 0.7% from June 2010 to June 2011

October 4, 2011 12:17 AM | CNA

Catalan GDP grew by 0.7% during the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. However, in the first quarter it grew by 1.1%. The export sector continues being the Catalan economy’s engine, while internal demand fell. Catalan GDP grew by 0.2% from the first to the second quarter this year, the same rate than for the rest of the European Union. At the end of 2010, Catalan GDP represented 209.7 billion euros, more than Finland’s, Portugal’s or Venezuela’s.