In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.
In recent years, the organic sector has increased significantly. However, with the ‘conventionalization’ of these products, it has been questioned whether these products have been losing their original vision. Accordingly, this research based on 31 phenomenological interviews with committed organic consumers in urban and rural areas of Portugal, aims to analyse how ethical motivations and ecological awareness are related to organic food consumption. The content thematic analysis highlights aspects related to society and environmental concerns. On an individual level, the importance of internal coherence, peace of mind and balance that these consumers find in the consumption of local organic products was stressed. For these consumers, local organic products consumption made for significant changes in their lives, aiding in the establishment of a green identity, and involves a certain philosophy of life. This vision of an organic lifestyle is grounded in a political and ecological perspective, beyond the usual organic definition, as a ‘post-organic era’. The paper contributes to better understand how an ideological environmental discourse allows highlighting the relationship between consumers’ environmental concerns and the politics of food, resulting in a possible transition to new sustainable consumption practices.
In an economic crisis such as the one that shook (and still shake) Europe, one does not question the importance of the measures that encourage the hiring and integration of young people into the labour market. In the mentioned context, enterprises tend to reduce the cost of labour and to seek flexible contracting instruments. The professional internships allow innovation and creativity at low cost, because, as they are not labour contracts, the enterprises do not have to respect the minimum standards related to wages, working time duration and so on. In Portugal, we observe a widespread existence of training contracts in which the trainee worked several hours without salary or was paid below the legally prescribed for the function and the work period. For this reason, under the tripartite agreement for a new system of regulation of labour relations, employment policies and social protection, between the Government and the social partners, in June 2008, foresaw a prohibition of professional internships unpaid and the legal regulation of the mandatory internships for access to an activity. The first Act about private internship contracts, i.e., internships without public funding was embodied in the Decree-Law N. 66/2011, of 1st June. This work is dedicated to the study of the legal regime of the internship contract in Portugal, by analysing the problems brought by the new set of rules and especially those which remains unresolved. In fact, we can conclude that the number of situations covered by the Act is much lower than what was expected, because of the exclusion of the mandatory internship for access to a profession when the activity is developed autonomously. Since the majority of the activities can be developed both autonomously or subordinated, it is quite easy to out of the Act requirements and, so, out of the protection that it confers to the intern. In order to complete this study, we considered not only the mentioned legal Act, but also the few doctrine and jurisprudence about the theme.
With the objective of characterizing the profile and performance of energy use by slaughterhouses, surveys and audits were performed in two different facilities located in the northeastern region of Portugal. Energy consumption from multiple energy sources was assessed monthly, along with production and costs, for the same reference year. Gathered data was analyzed to identify and quantify the main consuming processes and to estimate energy efficiency indicators for benchmarking purposes. Main results show differences between the two slaughterhouses concerning energy sources, consumption by source and sector, and global energy efficiency. Electricity is the most used source in both slaughterhouses with a contribution of around 50%, being essentially used for meat processing and refrigeration. Natural gas, in slaughterhouse A, and pellets, in slaughterhouse B, used for heating water take the second place, with a mean contribution of about 45%. On average, a 62 kgoe/t specific energy consumption (SEC) was found, although with differences between slaughterhouses. A prominent negative correlation between SEC and carcass production was found specially in slaughterhouse A. Estimated Specific Energy Cost and Greenhouse Gases Intensity (GHGI) show mean values of about 50 €/t and 1.8 tCO2e/toe, respectively. Main results show that there is a significant margin for improving energy efficiency and therefore lowering costs in this type of non-energy intensive industries.
Portuguese diet has been gradually diverging from the basic principles of healthy eating, leading to an unbalanced dietary pattern which, associated with increasing sedentary lifestyle, has a negative impact on public health. The main objective of this work was to characterize the dietary habits of university students in Viseu, Portugal. The study consisted of a sample of 80 university students, aged between 18 and 28 years. Anthropometric data (weight (kg) and height (m)) were collected and Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated. The dietary habits were assessed through a three-day food record and the software Medpoint was used to convert food into energy and nutrients. The results showed that students present a normal body mass index. Female university students made a higher number of daily meals than male students, and these last skipped breakfast more frequently. The values of average daily intake of energy, macronutrients and calcium were higher in males. The food pattern was characterized by a predominant consumption of meat, cereal, fats and sugar. Dietary intake of dairy products, fruits, vegetables and legumes does not meet the recommendations, revealing inadequate food habits such as hypoglycemic, hyperprotein and hyperlipidemic diet. Our findings suggest that preventive interventions should be focus in promoting healthy eating habits and physical activity in adulthood.
This paper presents an application of the Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) methodology to a turret punching machine in an elevators company, in Portugal. The work was developed during five months, in the ambit of a master thesis in Industrial Engineering and Management. The Lean Production tool SMED was applied to reduce setup times in order to improve the production flexibility of the machine. The main results obtained were a reduction of 64% in setup time (from 15.1 to 5.4min), 50% in work-in-process amount (from 12.8 to 6.4 days) and 99% in the distance traveled by the operator during the internal period (from 136.7 to 1.7m). These improvements correspond to gains of about €7,315.38 per year.