Brand people: small can be beautiful

The transition from traditional to modern production model has not been uniform in Almería: Conversely, It has led to significant territorial imbalance in income and population in favor of the coastal municipalities. Some of depressed, It is conducting a pilot project, called “brand people” in order to enable sustainable development to set population.

As a result of the territorial dualism, we can say that all Region of Dalías, the under Andarax, the Campo de Nijar and Under Almanzora, they have consolidated its development model. The municipalities of the Middle Valley of the Almanzora and some of the Alto (except those located in mountainous areas of Los Filabres and stays), they are also consolidating, although with more difficulty: oscillations of the construction cycle, the suppression of the railroad in its stretch of Almendricos to Guadix and diversion of the highway by Vélez, have dealt a serious blow which is costing recover.

The remaining counties, territory equivalent to about half of the province, They have come out worse off: Thus, the Alto Andarax, It is in sharp decline; and an even worse situation presents the regions of the Campo de Tabernas, Nacimiento River and Velez, that can be described clearly depressed. None of them has managed to find a clear way out that allows them to face their future with minimal strength, why people have lost-and continue to do so- and, which remain, It is aging progressively; largely people live in public transfers received: retirement pensions, unemployment insurance, Plan for the Promotion of Agricultural employment, direct aid to agriculture, etc..

In this context of depressed economy seven municipalities which have been selected by a group of professors of economics at the University of Almería is located (UAL), led by Jaime de Pablo, Director of the “Master in sustainable local development and codevelopment” of the University, for a pilot project called the brand people. They do the provisions under the Act 45/2007, of 13 December, sustainable development of rural areas.

Selected municipalities are: Alcóntar, Almócita, Líjar, Lubrín, Olula de Castro, Purchena Seron. They have in common being located in mountain areas, have low population and high degree of aging itself, low birth rate, high migration rate and reduced production diversification. Them, six are located in the Sierra de los Filabres (five of the Almanzora Valley) and one -Olula de Castro- on its southern slope, in the region of Campo de Tabernas; and Almócita, which it is in the Alto Andarax (Almeria Alpujarra). Together account 547,2 km2 and a population of 6.361 people (2108), yielding a density 11,6 inhabitants per km2. The largest population is Seron (2.035 people), followed by Purchena (1.621) y Lubrín (1.431); at the other extreme are Almócita (176), Olula de Castro (180), Líjar (390) and Alcóntar (528). For its orographic conditions, most of them have little access road, as in the case of Almócita, Líjar, Lubrin and Olula de Castro.

What is the brand people and aims? The brand It is a sign of identity, which comes from the act of marking, namely, to visually identify an object easily. It has been generalized to a whole range of sectors and services and has also been extended to countries, in this case, to demonstrate the quality of its economy, which it is synthesized with the made inEl made in predisposes instinctively to the plaintiff, positively or negatively, for any product or service offered on the market. In a globalized environment like the present, says Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, the brand is assimilated to a beauty pageant, in which everything is valued in terms of the origin, of made in.

In the case at hand, the basic objective pursued with this project is to try to involve their economic and social actors in technological innovation now provides internet (make them intelligent municipalities) to aim for sustainable development rationally exploiting the resources of the place. Have in their favor be run by entrepreneurs mayors, well prepared intellectually and very experienced (features rare among politicians), they have decided, based on the limited resources at their disposal such municipalities, bet on its future to try to correct the bleeding population suffering.

In the cases of the three with less population, Almócita, Sanding and Olula de Castro, the central element that serves as a guide is to promote rural tourism, taking advantage of the environmental enjoyed the environment. For Almócita, provide a well-preserved Moorish architecture, as well as the ruins of the old farm of lead that testify to its mining past. Líjar, located in the region of the marble, its main activity- also it offers places of interest to visit: Castle (build in 2005), the Charcón, paved the way, the Cave of the Moro, etc.; also, exploit to their advantage the historical episode of having declared war -incruenta- to France, in October 1883, for serious offenses in Paris he had inflicted on King Alfonso XII in one of his visits to this city; war that has persisted for a century: peace between the two contenders was signed, in Líjar, in October 1983. Olula de Castro, village remained semi-empty in winter, presents, main attraction, its proximity to the Calar Alto observatory. The most innovative of them all is Almócita, that it has driven some initiatives to set population (that, modestly, in part it is getting): cultural activities, promotion of organic farming, Local energy self-sufficiency (to symbolize, It has been held since a few years ago, Night of Lanterns: dispense with, overnight, of commercial electricity).

Alcóntar Seron, They focus their interest in the meat industry (inlaid) and more specifically in the curing of ham, product that already enjoyed a certain tradition in the area since the end of the nineteenth century but has been relaunched considerably since the closure of the mines of Las Menas. Seron currently has four such companies not only serve the domestic market but some of them sells abroad about half of its production. Seron got, in 2012, as a distinctive sign of geographical quality, Protected Geographical Indication / Protected Designation of Origin (IGP/DOP) "Seron ham", of which there are only six in Spain; however, to exploit the potential market efficiently, it would be advisable that this indication of quality is extended to neighboring municipalities enjoy similar climatic conditions.

For his part, Lubrín, a town away from large provincial roads and access road complicated, It is also managing to find alternatives to the use of natural resources. It does so by combining tradition and modernity: develops high quality traditional products with modern technology, marketed with great success not only in the province but also in many other places in Spain. It has a number of small family businesses-the majority- very efficient economically; These are the cases of a production of honey, a mill with grinding and pressing lines for obtaining both normal and organic oils of different varieties of olives, matadero un de cabrito lechal (and confit) highly successful, a company liquid natural yogurt goat milk (the goats is another productive specialties of the place), etc.. And with a facility-from municipal property- well equipped to accommodate Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (ARTS), Engloba which manages the Association on behalf of the Junta de Andalucía.

Last Purchena that, despite being small municipality in population, It is the main administrative center of the Alto Almanzora: It is head of Judicial Party and has Land Registry and other public services. It is also known for organizing this town-and with great success- summer courses from 1993, first as a dependent headquarters of the Complutense University and, from 1997, University of Almería. He bet on the social economy, clearly, its main distinctive sign that has made him reference center at the provincial level and Andalusia, a model of sustainable development, for good measure, It generates enough direct employment (these programs provide employment to more than 100 permanent workers and nearly as many possible). City Council is the main promoter of a series of social programs well established, They are enjoying great support and participation of the local population: live project, Summer Schools, Family Schools, socio center, Reception center for minors, etc.. Noteworthy are the three juvenile facilities with which account: for the MENAS (one for men and one for women) and another for the reception of juvenile offenders.

In conclusion, the seven municipalities of the brand people, They have chosen different alternatives in some cases to achieve a sustainable development model, always under the premise of rational exploitation of the resources at their disposal. Your results, despite its limitations, They are very positive: They have managed to create a stable employment and contain the population suffering from bleeding coming.

Source: Ibercampus