76 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 22.1.2016

Jan 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met in the Station in the Lunch room, and started off with a bread tasting. Ca. brought some very good ginger cookies, made by himself!  What a Surgeon’s hands can do…

Z.,  represented her parents, so U and E gave a brief introduction of our work and goals.

We are trying to develop ideas for new business on the island, such as medicinal herbs. We also visit places of interest; such as the Sugar Cane factory in Ribeiro Seco/Funchal, the Meia Serra waste processing plant and the firefighters in Funchal.

One of the issues facing us now if that, if we have good ideas, they cannot come to fruition if we cannot find the person/s best suited to pick them up and turn them into reality. We also want to have more exposure of our work to the public.

E and Uhad a meeting with the managing Director of JM (former Jornal da Madeira) and presented our idea of a communication channel from the population (and from us) to the Government by way of short ads with ideas (not complaints!).

He didn’t pick this up but instead wants us to publish our ideas every two weeks in a column (he said, with 3000 words, it’s more likely that he meant  3000 characters).


U. would like to wait until the newspaper is sold – which according to E’s info, should be soon. D.is also of the opinion that it is better to go in with the New instead of going out with the Old (in this case, the management).

In another project with the JM, D. and U. are working with them to develop a once-per-week English page ( A3 folded once =4 pages)  as an add-in and a stand-alone, to reach the foreign Residents and Tourists. Advertising should be able to support the cost. This would fill the gap left by the demise of The Brit a few years ago. In this paper, we could also place our ideas  and have (anonymous) food critics’ reports.

The ferry to the mainland:

We also talked about the subsidy game going on for the Ferry which is still not visible anywhere. Subsidies are killing entrepreneurial efforts. E.said that the group of interested shipping companies is now ganging up to pressure the Government for higher subsidies. The Sousa group which seems to hold an amazing number of essential enterprises on both islands, is probably going to come out on the top again.

The Ferry to Porto Santo:

E.said that there should be a continuation of territorial continuity; this is not a problem in the Canary islands. Ferry traffic there is voluminous and never interrupted.

Public transport is (like water) a public service and should not be in the hands of private enterprises. (Ca. mentioned that for example, telephone connection is not a public service per se.) The ferry to Porto Santo should have a contract which stipulates that it must run 52 weeks of the year. If the transport company is not willing to provide the service around the year, then it should lose the license.

Every discussion leads to the problem of corruption, part of the human nature. Added to this is the fact that the Portuguese, especially the Madeirans, do not have a fighting spirit.

Such corruption can be fought with transparency, another issue for publication in a newspaper. The Diario publishes a list of public contracts every month, with the top ten contractors and amounts. Old Contracts as the one for the Porto Santo Ferry should also be published; in the case of Sousa, his holdings should be made public as well. U. said that if such information is not allowed to be forgotten, by persistently repeating it, it will finally sink in, and  people will react at some point. The question is how far the future owners of JM will be willing to go to publish information which is uncomfortable to the Have’s on the island.

We also spoke briefly about E’s project. He will make an experiment and dry his product(for preservation and export) to see how it comes out. It may, however, turn out to be too hard.

D.said that E.should grow his grains exclusively on the island. These grains are kept in seed preservation chambers, but why not use them now and keep them unaltered?

Z introduced us to the concept of the Hash House Harriers, a movement which organizes running events to support charities, with chapters all over the world.  This is also an expat movement as the organizer used to come from the British Army. Have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers

Our next meeting will be in mid-February


73 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.9. 2015

Sep 21, 2015 at 8:35 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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73 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.9. 2015

The Bread Project: The new semester has started, and E. has to focus on the university job at this time; however, since last time, we had a few more suggestions for a good Name.

In any case, E.will need a good business partner; an artist usually isn’t very good at managing his own Project.

U.gave him a contact, Sr. José also bakes only with sourdough. The new “Goji” shop in Rua Queimada de Cima would be a good outlet for bread sales. They sell dried fruit, spices and other goodies.

Sa.said that IKEA has some cool packaging which might be nice for E.’s bread, she will let us have a photo of it.

Reforestation on Porto Santo:

Gr. and Sa. are in contact with each other about an urgently needed reforestation project for Porto Santo. A Portuguese scientist has written a good book about it. We as a group should try to promote such an event with actions.

The Porto Santo residents do not seem to be interested to reforest their island, which is basically a pile of sand, and they don’t even recycle. The water table is sinking and the water is poisoned by the lawn fertilizers used on the Golf course. With the planting of trees, the water table will improve.

U. mentioned that the Government is not very good at organizing tree-planting with the unemployed, they had such an event once in Madeira, They have to combine place, date, time, people, tree seedlings, bus transport, lunch, gloves etc and something will inevitably go wrong. Then the Madeirans have the tendency to give up, instead of trying to improve the system for the next time.

U. thinks tree planting could be handed to the Jeep Safari tours organized by travel agencies on Porto Santo: give them the seedlings and encourage the tourists to plant a few trees in designated areas, afterwards cared of by the Government gardeners. The Ferry could show the respective info during the trip and encourage the tourists to help planting. This should work well!

Here is the link again to a video with a nice story about a man who planted trees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7yEPNUXsU

U. thinks that we should place advertisements in the Diario with our ideas. If they don’t get out, nothing will happen but if they do, one or the other can trigger a good response, even from the Government. U. will work on such ads, to better illustrate the idea.

We also spoke about the potential the refugee wave means for Portugal in terms of population numbers. Portugal needs these people to avert a collapse of a viable state a few decades from now. These immigrants will be happy to plant trees; they would not feel themselves to be above it.

The Government issued a sensible information about the coming migrants, to quieten the fears of the Population

The word of the day: “Privilege is invisible to those who have it” from a TED talk.

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