Mercabarna and its wholesale businesses, via the Wholesale Business Associations on the food estate, have reached an agreement to respond to the call put out by the Food Bank and agreed to donate fresh produce on a regular and ongoing basis and not only when there is excess stock.
With this initiative, food collection is expected to rise by around 35% and the main aim is to ensure that the Food Bank has a steady and guaranteed amount of fresh produce every day to cover the huge demand for foodstuffs that charitable organisations are facing.
Barcelona Deputy Mayor and Mercabarna Chair Sònia Recasens says that fresh food is essential to ensuring a healthy diet, so the Food Bank “very much appreciates Mercabarna’s efforts to make a regular and greater quantity available every day”.
A further 200,000 kg of fresh food is expected to be collected per year, to be added to the nearly 550,000 kg already collected from voluntary donations of excess produce from the companies, making Mercabarna one of the main suppliers of food to the Food Bank. In total, Mercabarna will contribute around 750,000 kg of produce per annum.
To deliver on this goal, Mercabarna has implemented a system of permanent food contributions, with the collaboration of the Wholesale Business Associations. The Central Fruit and Vegetable Market has established that the contributions will be made on a rotating basis among the stalls in a particular pavilion and the minimum contribution will be two crates of fruit and vegetables for the Food Bank. This translates into around 120 crates per day, i.e., some 650 kg, which will be collected by Food Bank volunteers from each stall in the Market.
This system will see an extra 160,000 kg of fruit and vegetables collected each year.
At the Central Fish Market, the wholesalers have agreed to make an effort to increase the weekly donations they already make. With regard to meat, an increase in weekly donations is expected by the businesses, with the goal of increasing the 12,000 kg of meat products they currently provide per year.
The wholesale firms at the Multi-Purpose Pavilion will also take part by contributing produce each week.
Mercabarna Managing Director Josep Tejedo says the Mercabarna corporation will also make a monthly contribution of one tonne of food. “In this way,” Mr Tejedo said, “we will be giving the Food Bank a hand to help them cover the specific produce requirements they may have at any given time".