Mallorca connection
Posted on / by Productes de Mallorca / in anecdotes, Gastronomy

Mallorca connection

FirstThis story, which I call “Mallorca connection”, is about the sailing transport, which made Mallorca in ancient times and for many years a commercial nexus in the centre of the Mediterranean, connecting civilisations.


In search of healthy food

Concern for one’s own health and that of the planet is responsible for many initiatives on the road to the ecological transition.

Healthy nutrition seems intimately linked to respect for the environment, to a way of producing food that nourishes and heals us. The number of certified organic producers and organic shops has skyrocketed in recent years. Established organic markets, such as the market in Palma’s Plaza de los Patines, bring together every Tuesday and Saturday numerous consumers or (as some consider themselves) co-producers because of their commitment to this type of production.

The term “proximity”, so much in vogue lately in the market, appears to remind us that it is of little use to produce well if we then have to burn fossil fuels so that the food so respectfully produced reaches our pantry, often from another country or even another continent. Thus, for the purists, proximity awareness can be a major limitation to the variety of their diet.


Transport of goods

It has been a long time since goods were transported by road on the back of beasts, or in animal-drawn carts. The internal combustion engine replaced this means of land transport a long time ago.

Steamships and later diesel-powered ships replaced the large sailing ships in maritime transport.

So we just look the other way until technology makes solar-powered transport possible, or who knows if something better.


21st century transport

Meanwhile, a group of entrepreneurs from the Occitan coast (on the south coast of France), led by Frédéric Dijol and Paul Guilhaumon, have taken the initiative to propose their own sailing transport service, with a carbon footprint close to zero. The “Saveur”, as they call their refitted Sadler 34, carries in its hold up to 2 tons of ecological cargo, in 5 cubic metres, between the ports of Port Camargue, Sète, Agde, Gruissan, Banyuls sur Mer on the south coast of France, and is already defined as the first Mediterranean cargo sailing ship of the 21st century.

This initiative, which the promoters have christened ÉOL-LIEN, may seem to many to be little more than a romantic idea or even a utopia. Somehow… it is already a reality, and it has earned its place as a protagonist on the road to the ecological transition. Time will tell, but what is indispensable for the success of this project is the response of consumers. As always, we must remind ourselves that the power lies with the consumer, who decides where to put his or her euro, or in other words where to put his or her energy to make projects work.


A look back, Mallorca connection

A few millennia ago, the fastest and safest route between two points was always the sea. This is why there was a cultural connection between the civilisations of the Mediterranean basin. There were not only commercial exchanges, but also cultural exchanges.

This dream, which involves reconnecting the ports of the Mediterranean, through transport with an almost zero carbon footprint, makes us regain confidence in the crossroads of civilisations and its cultural and social wealth effects.

Thinking back, Mallorca was closely linked commercially with the south of France. Between 1865 and 1890, from the port of Felanitx, Portocolom, ships loaded with wines produced in Mallorca departed for the port of Sète during the years of the Phylloxera plague in Europe (from which the islands were spared for a few years). We have already written an article on this in the past. You can read it by following the link…

The tradition of the pates in Mallorca

And for many years, citrus fruits, sobrasadas and fabrics were exported from the port of Sóller to various ports on the southern coast of France. The influence of French culture on the inhabitants of Sóller is still remarkable.


First visit of the Saveur

Saveur on a cruise

The “Saveur” will visit us shortly, on 11 February, weather permitting, to load a tonne of oranges. One month later will return to load the same weight of lemons for France. All produced organically and on the island of Mallorca.

Frédéric Dijol tells me that he offers Mallorcan restaurateurs, consumer groups, producers’ cooperatives, … the possibility of acquiring products from the other ports on his route, thus helping to expand this route and strengthen the ecological transition, making this initiative a viable and lasting option.


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