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Grazing dairy cows, a model of sustainable agriculture

The historian Gaspar Fructuoso, in his writings “Saudades da Terra”, written between 1586 and 1590, described Terceira, an island in the archipelago of the Azores, as: “An island with a infinite amount of cattle and sheep, a great number of domestic and wild pigs, and many goats, so that there is a great abundance of milk, butter, cream, cheese, cottage cheese and delicious cheese cakes.” Four hundred years later, these words still ring true for anybody visiting the islands. This is a sure sign that the type of agriculture practised in the Azores, a region with a particularly fragile ecology, is compatible with the environment and animal welfare. This kind of agriculture can guarantee agricultural products at competitive prices, brings economic benefits to farmers and the local population, creates good prospects for rural families and also fosters the development of other important economic sectors, such as tourism and the service industry.

By Amorim, Alves, Manaças, Miranda