On 17 April, Jordi William Carnes, deputy mayor with responsibility for Finance and Economic Promotion and chair of Mercabarna, and Joaquim Llena, the Catalan Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Action, visited Mercabarna.
Montserrat Gil de Bernabé, managing director of Mercabarna, and Joan Gené, managing director of Food, Quality and Agro-food Industries, also took part.
The itinerary got under way at the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market, where the delegation saw the enormous variety of products, both local and from around the world, that are commercialised there. They then visited two enterprises located in the Complementary Activities Area: one specialising in the export of fruit and vegetable produce (Fruit Gavà) and the other in cold storage and logistics for the fish sector (Frimercat).
“90 hectares given over to the agro-food sector is amazing. Unquestionably, this is one of the most powerful economic engines in Catalonia,” said Mr. Llena.
During the tour, Messrs Llena and Carnes met with Joan Llonch, president of the Mercabarna Concessionaires Association, and with Casimiro Llorens, president of the Association of Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Dealers of Barcelona and Province (AGEM).
Visit to the ‘5 a Day’ classroom
Mr Carnes was keen for the minister to become acquainted with the ‘5 a Day’, campaign, which Mercabarna and the AGEM have now been running for nine years to make children aware of the importance of consuming five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. For this reason, they visited the ‘5 a Day’ classroom, where the schoolchildren who come to Mercabarna every day have the opportunity to sample these foods.
Mr Carnes stressed the importance of this initiative: “It is more important than ever for children to develop healthy eating habits to better cope with a serious public health problem, that of childhood obesity,” he said. Some 6,000 children take part in ‘5 a Day’ in Catalonia every year.