Mediterranean Agribusiness School (MABS)

The MABS summer program “Spanish Food Culture: the Mediterranean Diet and the Agro-Food Industry” is targeted to undergraduates, recent graduates or young professionals from all over the world who are studying or working in areas related to the agrifood sector, from the food industry to food science and technology, including gastronomy, tourism, international marketing etc. or who are interested in food, gastronomy and Spain’s culture.


The objective of the course is to offer students a global and integrated vision of the agrifood sector, one of the most powerful and innovative in Spain. Through lectures, hands-on classes, visits, tasting sessions, round tables and dialogue with professionals from the sector, students analyse the main value chains of Mediterranean products such as fruit, seafood, wine, olive oil and ham. Throughout the course, students become acquainted with the Mediterranean Diet –in terms of its cultural heritage and its importance for nutrition and health, rural and gastronomic tourism as an economic driver, the consumption patterns for Mediterranean products, the food safety and quality models in the EU and their link with international trade, the latest initiatives and trends in the Spanish food sector and the international positioning of Spanish gastronomy.

An equally important objective of the program is to offer international students the opportunity to experience first-hand the potential of Spain’s agrifood sector as well as the Spanish language and culture, besides creating a forum for the exchange of experiences and ideas that will enhance future professional networks.

The program addresses the following topics:

1. The Mediterranean Diet (Intangible cultural heritage of humanity)

2. Spain and Aragon as a tourist destination

3. Consumption of Mediterranean products

4. Agrifood systems: Global strategies

5. The Spanish agrifood system

6. European safety and quality models

7. Designations of Origin and quality symbols in Aragon

8. The European agrifood value chains

9. Case study of wine (visit to vineyards and wineries in Somontano and Rioja)

10. Case study of fresh fruit and vegetables (visit to fruit farms and packing units in Almunia)

11. Case study of seafood (visit to mussel and oyster farms at Ebro Delta)

12. Case study of extra virgin olive oil (visit to oil mills in Somontano and Zaragoza)

13. Case study of gastronomy (showcooking at a Gastronomc Society)

14. Latest nutritional and health issues

15. Communication, marketing and branding strategies


The program also includes a specialized Spanish course delivered by the University of Zaragoza as well as various complemenatry activities to reinforce and support the academic program out of the classroom:

> Interactive sessions: Tasting sessions (olive oils, wine, cheese, etc.), visits to agrifood companies (brewery, bakery, etc.)

> Hands-on experience: Tapas tour in Zaragoza, show cooking, etc.

> Field trips: Pyrenees (start-ups in rural areas, craft brewery, artisanal pacharán liquor, organic farm, etc. as well as historic monuments and ethnographic museum), Somontano (wineries, oilmills and historic landmarks and villages), Rioja and Basque country (vineyards, wineries, wine museum, pintxos tour, etc.).


The program includes an additional period of one month for an optional traineeship with firms or institutions in the agrifood sector (upon request).


More information: http://mediterraneanagribusinessschool.education/

Contact e-mail: mabs@iamz.ciheam.org


iSAGE Summer School

“Approaches to innovation and research for the sustainability of sheep and goat production systems”

Zaragoza (Spain), 21-23 May 2018


European and Mediterranean sheep and goat sectors are valuable because they produce goods from otherwise unused resources and deliver important environmental services. Sheep and goats are sometimes the main industry for many marginal rural areas supporting local communities and infrastructure. These sectors, however, are facing an uncertain future because of a general lack of competitiveness and attractiveness for new generations, due to poor technical and economic results and severe social and environmental challenges.

Innovative solutions are needed to overcome these challenges to make sheep and goat industries more sustainable and profitable. These innovations need to improve production techniques, labour organisation, equipment and infrastructures and collective programmes for selection or health campaigns, as well as for the marketing of products.

The iSAGE 3 day summer school provides postgraduate students and early scientists with an overview of main areas of research and innovation in sheep and goats in Europe, so as to widen their comprehension on the aspects in which science is contributing to the sustainability of the small ruminant sector. Lectures, open discussions with experts and industry stakeholders, and a field visit to a real example of an innovative production system enrich their understanding on the actual stakes and challenges to which the sector is confronted and on how science and innovations can help the industry to cope with them.


More information: http://projects.iamz.ciheam.org/isagesummerschool/index.html

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