Today, we tell the story of Horta dos Peixinhos, a project started in 2015 with the purpose of producing salicornia and revealing this curious and salutary plant to Portugal...
Aveiro is a rich city. Rich in history, customs, climate, landscapes... Much could be said of the city and its attractions, however it’s interesting to realize that there’s still room for discovery. Today, we tell the story of Horta dos Peixinhos, a project started in 2015 with the purpose of producing salicornia and revealing this curious and salutary plant to Portugal. The plantation began in two marines, the marina of Peixinhos and Pontinha. Formerly used as nurseries for fish, they were deactivated and the idea of planting salicórnia of the ramosíssima strain took shape.
But what is this plant after all? In short, salicornia is a great substitute for salt, 100% natural, with low concentrations of sodium and anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihypertensive and antidiabetic characteristics. In Portugal, salicornia is also already commercialized. The media and the national association of nutritionists gradually awoke to its beneficial properties, since it’s indicated, among other virtues, for those who suffer from hypertension or intend to prevent it. At this time the commercialization of salicornia is being made by Horta dos Peixinhos, both fresh and dehydrated, and is considered a spice with the designation of Green Salt, and its production is certified biologically.
One of the relevant difficulties for this culture to remain active is related to constant maintenance. Although Aveiro has mostly clean waters and therefore excellent for the plantation of salicornia, there are also strong north winds and during storm tides the navies are completely exposed, which makes it difficult to support their maintenance, putting at risk all the work developed. The first harvests were made in 2016 and have already been well accepted in the market, proven by the various orders placed from North to South of the country.
In the field of communication, the company has extended contacts to several institutions, businesses and associations, in an effort of dissemination. In May, they attended an International Nutrition Congress in Lisbon, which brought together around 2000 professionals from all over the world, which resulted in very positive feedback, not only in the appreciation of the quality of the product, but also in the enormous benefits for the everybody’s health. In this congress, the stand of the Horta dos Peixinhos had a great impact, with the Sal Verde being much sought after by many professionals. Following the event, they contacted the food industry, namely a well-known national company that wants to integrate salicornia into their products. In the near future, they also want to create partnerships with companies in different areas.
It’s worth highlighting the existing relationship with the biology area of the University of Aveiro, in order to ensure quality production. To this end, a biologist who carries out extensive tests on the water and the plants themselves is always present in the navies, as well as helping to maintain them.
Horta dos Peixinhos sells to individuals and companies, and the latter offer excellent commercial conditions, namely the availability of samples for testing.
This is a business that is still growing and, despite the difficulties, has had great acceptance. The feedback from the market is very positive and, on the other hand, the people involved feel that the work done is important for the preservation and continuation of this heritage of the estuary of Aveiro, so relevant to the city, which are our navies.
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