Say cheese!

Focus visit to Montesdeoca dairy

Over 30 people took part in a guided visit in English to the Montesdeoca cheese makers, based in the midlands of Adeje, and winners of countless regional, national and international prizes for their dairy products

The tour was given by Alberto Montesdeoca, who explained the origins of this fantastic food jewel in the Adeje gastronomy crown. Started by his grandfather when some of the family moved from La Palma to Tenerife, the business is still very much a family firm, making cheeses, butters and yogurts by hand from the 1,000+ goat herd on site.

The tour was organised by Focus, the Adeje group for international residents, who work to help international residents integrate, learn more about the borough, and discover they many pluses of living in this part of South Tenerife. Over 30 people of different nationalities signed up for the tour, which lasted over an hour.

Alberto first took us to see the goats and kids, explaining the milking process, how the goats are fed and kept, the breed used etc. We also met the newer kids who have their little ‘creche’ area.

The group were then brought indoors and we saw the cheese being mixed, moulded and stored. Alberto explained that they currently produce almost 20 different types of cheese, how the cheese is pasteurised, with different curing processes, some hard, some semi-hard, some matured and flavoured. The group then moved to the tasting room where four different cheeses were on offer giving the visitors some delicious examples of the products made by Montesdeoca.

The tour ended in the on-site shop, but people can also buy these fantastic cheeses at the Adeje farmers market ever Saturday and Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon.

(For more information about the farm and to arrange small group visits, the webpage for Montesdeoca is http://www.quesosmontesdeoca.com/)

Information exchange: a ‘game changer’

While there may not have been a huge turn out to the recent Adeje Focus meeting with speakers from Blevins Franks and DeCotta Law, those in attendance were glad they came as the information garnered on tax matters, information exchange between jurisdictions and inheritance tax is of huge importance.
Paul Montague talked about the alarming number of people who don’t believe they need to pay tax here despite the fact they spend much more than half of the calendar year living in Tenerife, use the ‘residencia’ discounts, are registered with and use the local medical services, own a home and car, and perhaps only stay with a family member for a few weeks back in the UK. They are and will legally be deemed to be ‘de facto’ tax residents, he explained, and it is really important that people realise this and get their financial matters in order.
“You do not have a choice where you pay your taxes”. He said it was vital to make a tax declaration “now more than ever”. He also quoted Spanish government sources who have stated that, those British residents “who have legitimised themselves” in Spain will have few if any problems post-Brexit. In other words, get your paperwork, resident and tax status in order, now.
Wayne Sheridan looked at the issue of the automatic exchange of financial information on individuals between the Spanish and UK government, which has been in operation since September 2016, “it really was a game changer”. He quoted the experience of clients who have received letters from the Central Bank in London as they have picked up on the fact that they have a Spanish phone number or car registration, so they should be declaring assets in Spain. The bottom line, he says, is that “if you have a financial asset that you have not declared in Spain, in another country, rest assured Hacienda (the Spanish tax office) will find out about it in due course”.
The third speaker was Jon Sutton from DeCotta Law, who addressed the issues of wills and inheritances taxes. He spoke of changes in the laws regarding both, and urged non-Spanish residents with assets here (from a car to a home or business) to make a will. Having a will here will make life easier for your beneficiaries and help them avoid inheritance tax fines.
The company also remind people to make sure that if they have a UK will or are about to make one make sure it does not have the wording “I hereby revoke all former Wills and Testamentary dispositions heretofore made by my and declare this to be my last Will”, as this would revoke any Spanish will you have.