On 25 June, the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, visited Mercabarna for the launch of a pioneering system in the world of frozen fruit and vegetables which has been set up by the company Cutting’s, a firm located in the complex and specialising in the distribution of freshly-cut fruit and vegetables for the hotel, restaurant and café channel.
The ceremony brought together 200 professionals from the food sector and was attended by the Director General of Food at the Government of Catalonia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Domènec Vila; the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council and Chair of Mercabarna, Sònia Recasens; and the Managing Director of Mercabarna, Josep Tejedo, among others.
This technology, called "Nice Cold System", has been developed by the Catalan company Nice Fruit, made up of the Cutting's Group, the financial group Fenoexit, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Professor Josep Maria Nacenta.
The new feature of this technology is that it allows for fruit and vegetables picked at their optimal point of ripeness to be frozen and still maintain the same texture, flavour and nutritional properties as the fresh versions for up to three years. The Chair of Cutting’s, Miquel Pastor, highlighted the "revolution" that this technology is creating in the fruit and vegetable sector, since it will make it possible to "increase exports, optimise surplus fruit and stabilise prices".
A Catalan project with an international scope
During the speeches given, the Mayor emphasised the renown that such initiatives bring to the city and "how they help Barcelona to be recognised for its research, know-how and innovation". The Director General of Food similarly stated that this project “joins two concepts, namely entrepreneurship and research, a binomial which forms the basis of the economic model that the Catalan Government wants to promote". The Managing Director of Mercabarna stressed Mercabarna’s desire to work hand-in-hand with companies such as Nice Fruit which "make the effort to adapt to new times and have provided greater added value to their products and services every day".
The event was also attended by some twenty Chinese business people who signed an agreement with Nice Fruit to export this technology to their country.