Interview with Jaime Ferreira, director of RefNat4LIFE project partner Agrobio (Portugal)

In this series, RefNat4LIFE project partners give insight into their experience and motivation to engage in sustainable RACHP. This time, we have talked to Jaime Ferreira, director of Agrobio, the Portuguese Association of Organic Agriculture.

Claudia Becker (HEAT GmbH): What are the main challenges for the small (organic) food retail sector with regard to sustainable cooling?

Jaime Ferreira (Agrobio Portugal): There is a lack of information. We do not know enough about small retail shops. These include the majority of organic shops in Portugal which are independently owned and widely dispersed all over the country. Our challenge is to supply them with information and to change the cooling and refrigeration systems in their shops. There is also a lack of technical advice which poses a challenge.  

Claudia:  How can service companies support small store owners to switch to sustainable cooling?

Jaime: Companies need to approach shop owners and talk to them. They need to have a programme with information and technical advice, and they should be able to propose changing the refrigeration and air conditioning equipment at a low cost. This could be linked to public policies to support changes in store equipment that present climate friendly cooling alternatives.

Claudia: Are there any policies supporting the switch to climate friendly cooling in Portugal?

Jaime: Unfortunately, there are none. We hope that through this project these policies will be implemented in the near future in order to support the switch to climate friendly cooling in Portugal.

Claudia:  Why has Agrobio become a partner in the RefNat4LIFE project?

Jaime: There are general and specific motivations. Generally, Portugal has made an agreement to the UN and EU commission to become a neutral carbon country by 2050. Of course, this project and the awareness it raises around the change towards climate friendly cooling alternatives will help us on the way to this goal. We have to improve our climate friendly cooling technology in Portuguese organic shops. They need to change their equipment if they hope to become more environmentally friendly.

The interview was recorded as part of the project webinar for the 2020 Virtual Trade Show.

The webinar recording in full length is available below.