Our Habitat is Serra da Malcata, where nature is still intact and admirable, and it occupies 21,000 hectares of the Natural Reserve. Its topography is undulated, with oak forests to the north and large areas of Mediterranean scrub. It is the seventh elevation of Continental Portugal and there springs the Bazágueda river, a tributary of Erges. It is in this environment that about 1000 hives and millions of bees extract the products from the plants, in a space of low human activity.
It was here that Jorge Almeida Lima’s great-great grandchildren, Frederico Horgan, settled down with a brother, after deciding to recover the old hives that, in 1898, Jorge de Almeida Lima explored in Quinta do Lameiro, in Benfica. Euromel was born and grown after much work and step-by-step, that is, hive by hive and attracted by this land of Penamacor, in Quinta dos Pocinhos.
Now with even bigger and more modern facilities, Euromel, created in 1989, is led by Frederico Horgan, his wife and son (also he Frederick), who pack, market and export varieties of pure honey and other products of bees which, over time, have been produced under the brand name Serramel, such as honey with fruits, granolas with honey and the creation of a new brand: “Beirabaga – Jams of Traditional Fruits and Almonds”.
This company includes the whole process from the production of around 30 tons a year to the purchase of honey from other domestic beekeepers, packaging and marketing.
About 40% of sales accounts for export and 60% for the domestic market
Within the Beekeeping industry, the brand Serramel offers a great variety of different honeys of floral origin, which are produced in Portugal and not only in the region of Beira Baixa, since the hives are under transhumance (search for new blooms in different regions, which allows two annual productions), such as Oak Honey and the purchase of honey from beekeepers located in other regions of Portugal – Orange Blossom Honey, Wild Lavender Honey from Serras do Algarve, Eucalyptus Honey. Then there is the honey with dried fruits and the dietetic products from the bees (Pollen, Honey with Propolis, Honey with Royal Jelly and Honey with Pollen). With a “new home”, or rather, “extended house”, after almost two years of works and in the process of implementing the ISO 9001 and IFS international certifications by the end of this year, which will lead to new export opportunities.
On a visit to the facilities, we were told that these certifications are already required by some customers in the American and European continent.
We were welcomed by Rita Horgan, as Frederick Horgan, on that day, was in the fields checking his worker bees that produce the raw material, which his dedicated 18 employees treat with love and care.
Rita Horgan revealed some novelties: “We created the Queiró Honey from Serra da Malcata “in the 80s, almost 40 years ago. With the evolution of Serra da Malcata’s flora (progressive afforestation with chestnut trees, although the heather is still abundant) and the bees’ search for the nectar of the chestnuts from the north of the mountain, as well as the increase of the demand for this product, we were forced to purchase queiró and chestnut honey from beekeepers located in other mountains of Portugal. Now is the time, for the sake of authenticity, to change the name of this product to “Queiró and Chestnut Honey”. The characteristics of the product have hardly changed since it is only an evolution/rectification of its denomination.
In the 90s of last century, for similar reasons, we changed the product name “Wild Lavender Honey from Serra da Malcata” to the current “Wild Lavender Honey Serramel” and the transition was a success”. She also informed us, with great satisfaction, that this same Queiró and Chestnut Honey won the 2018 Silver Medal in the category Multiflora honey at the National Honey Competition of 2018, FNAP – National Federation of Beekeepers of Portugal, within the scope of the National Agriculture Fair at Santarém with the support of CNEMA – National Agricultural Exhibition Center.
And refers – “This tasty Honey of Queiró and Castanheiro is produced by the hives of the da Malcata Montains and other mountain ranges of central and northern Portugal. It is a dark colored honey and with a characteristic heather palate attenuated by the flavor of chestnut”
On international markets, he says, “We have reached or are on four continents in more than twenty countries and we want to continue growing in these same markets, such others. Our products are found From the USA and Canada to Vietnam, China, Japan, Dubai, Angola and most European countries. The markets are becoming more demanding and certifications will be a greater guarantee of high quality and safety. But the company and its team always like to go beyond the conventional and therefore offers a wide range of honey, dried fruit, honey with extra-fine crystallization, dietetics, special packaging and innovative granolas with honey.
Euromel has always been a presence in SISAB PORTUGAL since the second edition. Frederico Horgan is one of the founders of this Export Fair and it is a case to say that he was “stung by the beeswax” and will continue to bet on his presence at the next event in February 2019.